Ringgold’s Stockburger retires from coaching after 42 years and over 700 wins

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / Ringgold head coach Margaret Stockburger instructs the Tigers between quarters. The Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe Warriors hosted the Ringgold Tigers in GHSA girl's basketball on December 10, 2021.

RINGGOLD, Ga. — The wins — and there have been more than she can remember — are just a small part of Margaret Stockburger's coaching legacy.

Stockburger announced Tuesday she is retiring from coaching after over four decades and 700-plus wins on the sideline. She will remain at Ringgold High School as assistant athletic director, hoping to provide the kind of mentorship she once received as a young coach.

"I had a lot of good mentors that helped me along the way, and that's kind of what I want to be doing now," she said, mentioning, among others, former coaches Linda Gilpatrick and Ron Wheeler. "My role will be to support the coaches we have. It's so hard to coach in today's society anyway, so I will do anything I can to help them."

Stockburger played at Ringgold — where her jersey was retired this year — and began her coaching career at Northwest Whitfield High School, where she coached a total of 31 years, the last 15 as head coach.

She was the Ringgold Middle School coach for two seasons beginning in 2011 and has been the Ringgold High School coach for 10 years. She won her 500th varsity game this season.

"Margaret Stockburger is a legend in the state of Georgia," Ringgold principal J.R. Jones said Tuesday. "She revitalized this girls' basketball program and has affected so many people's lives along the way.

"We're going to miss her as head coach, but we know she will do more great things as assistant athletic director. She's just been great for this school and she means a lot to this community."

At Ringgold she took over a winless team for the 2013-14 season and took it to the second round of the GHSA Class AAA playoffs. The next three seasons saw the Lady Tigers win a combined 69 games, reaching the state quarterfinals in 2015-16. Ringgold also went to the quarterfinals in 2019-20 and four other times reached the second round.

"I have a lot of wonderful memories over the years, and I guess getting that 500th win is a nice milestone and a good way to go out," said Stockburger, who thanked her former players, their parents and her coaches.

"The best thing to me, though, is seeing people just be successful in whatever they choose to do. The biggest part of my job is trying to steer the young ladies that are on your team, give them tools for when they get out of high school so they can get through college and just life in general.

According to Jones, the administration will begin a search for Stockburger's replacement immediately.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com

  photo  Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Ringgold girls coach Margaret Stockburger coaches her team on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at Lafayette High School.