McCallie’s Potter to be inducted into Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / McCallie coach Ralph Potter will be one of four inductees into the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday in Nashville.
Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / McCallie coach Ralph Potter will be one of four inductees into the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday in Nashville.

Having built McCallie School's football program into one of the state’s elite powers, longtime head coach Ralph Potter is being recognized for that sustained success this weekend.

Potter will be one of four inductees into the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday at a luncheon in Nashville.

“It means a lot,” Potter said. “I think about all the coaches that I’ve worked with, especially guys like Chris Richardson and Mike Newman who have stayed with me for so many years, as well as the ones who helped me get started, like Kenny Sholl, Austin Clark and Fred Hubbs.

“You also start to reflect back on some of the players we’ve had and that relationship we built through seeing them compete. I have so much respect for those kids as competitors and people, and it’s always special to watch them grow. It’s a great privilege to have had the career I’ve had, and to have all of that work recognized is a humbling thing.”

Joining Potter in this year’s induction class will be former Pearl-Cohn coach Maurice Fitzgerald, former Kingston coach Vic King and former Bearden coach Bill Young.

Potter has a 167-79 record in 21 seasons at his alma mater — an average of eight wins per season — and also had head coaching stints at Baylor and Brentwood Academy, compiling 235 career wins in 29 seasons.

Potter is the only Blue Tornado coach to guide the football program to a state championship, winning four total (all in TSSAA Division II-AAA). The first came in 2001 during his initial stint leading McCallie, and Potter's teams won three consecutive titles from 2019-21, with the Blue Tornado just missing out on the BlueCross Bowl and a chance to win four in a row this past season.

Both the 2001 and 2021 teams finished unbeaten.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

Updated with more information at 4:50 p.m. on Feb. 16, 2023.

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