Winningest coach in Tenn. has humble roots in Yazoo Co.
When Ken Netherland started coaching high school football in 1966, not once did he think about winning more games than any other in history.
Last Friday, St. George Independent School (TN) honored Netherland, 71, for surpassing Carlton Flatt with 356 victories; the most by any coach in Tennessee high school history.
“You don’t start out thinking that will occur,” Netherland said Tuesday by phone. “I just wound up in the right places, had good assistants over the years, good parents and good football players. It’s just being in the right place at the right time.”
With a career that spanned over four decades at three different Memphis area high schools, Netherland was a winner everywhere he went.
At Germantown, where he spent 29 seasons, Netherland won a state championship in 1983 and finished runner-up on four different occasions.
He coached in the first ever Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star game a year later and in the first ever Liberty Bowl All-Star game.
“Football gets in your blood; it’s just hard to turn loose,” Netherland said. “You don’t come up with a record like that without spending a lot of time in it. It’s a longevity thing.”