Mac McCurry, who has a history of rebuilding high school football programs, now has the opportunity to restore Marion County High School's.
McCurry was named the Warriors' new head coach Monday.
Picked from more than 70 applicants, he replaces Troy Boeck, who was fired after this season's 1-9 finish, the worst in program history. Boeck had coached the Warriors for four years, guiding them to the state semifinals and quarterfinals in his first two years before suffering through consecutive losing seasons.
Marion claimed four state titles from 1990 to '95, but the 54-year old McCurry is the program's seventh head coach in the last 16 years. Boeck's four-year tenure was the longest of any coach since Ken Colquette resigned in 1996.
McCurry was the defensive coordinator at Signal Mountain this season but has been a head coach at Moore County, Marshall County and Ripley (Miss.).
"As much as anything, their great tradition is what made me want the job," McCurry said. "It's a football community, and every coach wants to be at a place where the game is important.
"I was really impressed with the professionalism of this head coaching search, in particular [athletic director] Larry Ziegler and [principal] Sherry Prince. I'm here to turn this program around and finish the job. I won't be able to think about anything else until we get that job done."
Moore County was coming off consecutive 2-8 seasons when McCurry took over and guided that program to the playoffs in his first season and to a Class 1A state-runner-up finish the following year. His Moore County teams won nine region championships and made the playoffs each of his 12 years there.
Similarly, Marshall County had gone a combined 9-23 the three years before McCurry took over and guided the Tigers to the playoffs all six years of his tenure. At Ripley, he had three straight 10-win seasons.
McCurry, whose career record is 220-66, said he will serve as offensive coordinator for the Warriors, bringing the wing-T he has had so much success running.
"There were several factors that made us believe Coach McCurry is the right choice," Ziegler said. "We need somebody with experience to come in and rebuild our program, and he has a history of having success doing that at other programs.
"He's a man of integrity and gave us his word he will be here for a while. This is my alma mater, and I wanted the right man to lead our program and our boys."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.