The late John McKissick, the legendary South Carolina high school football coaching legend, will have company in the 600-Win Club this fall. John Curtis Christian School (Louisiana) head coach J.T. Curtis will be become only the second high school football coach to reach the 600 milestone when the Patriots win their second game this year.
Curtis, who began his head coaching career in 1969, enters the 2021 season with a lifetime mark of 598-71-6. That puts him 23 wins behind McKissick, who’s held the No. 1 spot on the all-time coaching wins list for decades.
Hampton (Virginia) High’s Mike Smith, who has been the Crabbers head coach since 1979, is expected to enter the 500-Win Club this year. He only needs one victory to reach 500.
What’s amazing about the list is four of the top five all-time winners are still coaching.
The 400-Win Club could welcome three new members in the fall. Bell County (Kentucky) head coach Dudley Hilton is one win away from the milestone, while Ken Leonard of Sacred Heart-Griffin in Illinois needs seven victories. Reno Saccoccia of Steubenville (Ohio) will reach 400 with eight wins.
Jackson Prep’s Ricky Black reached 400 wins last fall. He then retired earlier this year, No. 2 on Mississippi’s all-time coaching wins list with 401 victories.
Five coaches with more than 400 wins won state championships during the 2020-21 high school football season.
Jim Roth of Southern Columbia won his fourth straight Pennsylvania state championship in 2020, his eleventh overall. With 456 wins, Roth moves into the Top 10 at No. 9. Coming into the 2021 season, Southern Columbia is on a 60-game win streak, the second longest active streak in America.
The other 400-win coaches capturing state championships last season are: No. 11 Gary Rankin of Alcoa (Tennessee), No. 16 Jim Hightower of St. Thomas More (Louisiana), No. 22 (tied) David Gentry of Murphy (North Carolina) and No. 22 (tied) Tom Knotts of Dutch Fork (South Carolina).
Editor’s Note: We use several different media sources to create this list. If you feel you have more information that we can consider for our list, please email [email protected]
All-Time High School Football Coaching Wins
No. 1 John McKissick (South Carolina) 621-156-13
No. 2 *J.T. Curtis – John Curtis HS (Louisiana) 598-71-6
No. 3 *Mike Smith – Hampton HS (Virginia) 499-98-2
No. 4 *Robert Hyland – St. Mary’s Springs (Wisconsin) 482-106-2
No. 5 *Phil Danaher – Calallen (Texas) 480-116-4
No. 6 Larry Campbell (Georgia) 477-85-3
No. 7 Charles “Corky” Rogers (Florida) 466-84-1
No. 8 *Philip Haywood – Belfry HS (Kentucky) 457-141
No. 9 *Jim Roth – Southern Columbia HS (Pennsylvania) 456-63-2
No. 10 George Curry (Pennsylvania) 455-99-5
No. 11 *Gary Rankin – Alcoa HS (Tennessee) 453-77
No. 12 *Bill Castle – Lakeland HS (Florida) 450-95
No. 13 Jack Henzes (Pennsylvania) 444-168-8
No. 14 John Herrington (Michigan) 443-112-1
No. 15 *Jerry Sinz – Edgar HS (Wisconsin) 442-85
No. 16 *Jim Hightower – St. Thomas More (Louisiana) 440-128-1
No. 17 *C.J. Hamilton – Silver Lake (Kansas) 439-94
No. 18 Dick Tighe (Iowa) 432-167-8
No. 19 (tie) Al Francassa (Michigan) 431-117-7
No. 19 (tie) *Jerry Pezzetti – Ankeny Centennial HS (Iowa) 431-167-1
No. 21 *Larry “Bud” Wright – Sheridan HS (Indiana) 429-204-2
No. 22 (tie) *David Gentry – Murphy HS (North Carolina) 426-197
No. 22 (tie) *Tom Knotts – Dutch Fork HS (South Carolina) 426-64
No. 22 (tie) G.A. Moore (Texas) 426-92-9
No. 25 Curt Bladt – Harlan HS (Iowa) 418-63
No. 26 (tied) *Dave Gutshall – Dorman HS (South Carolina) 414-140
No. 26 (tied) *Randy Allen – Highland Park HS (Texas) 414-90-6
No. 28 Jack Holley (North Carolina) 412-96-9
No. 29 *Bill Hurst – Centreville Academy (Mississippi) 409-131
No. 30 Jim Render (Pennsylvania) 406-141-6
No. 31 (tie) Pete Adkins (Missouri) 405-60-4
No. 31 (tie) Bob Milloy (Maryland) 405-124-1
No. 33 Robert Paroli (North Carolina) 403-206-13
No. 34 (tie) Ricky Black – Jackson Prep (Mississippi) 401-79
No. 34 (tie) Jim France – Akron Manchester HS (Ohio) 401-129-4
No. 36 (tie) *Dudley Hilton – Bell County HS (Kentucky) 399-127
No. 36 (tie) Bob Ladouceur (California) 399-25-3
No. 38 (tie) Gordon Wood (Texas) 394-93-15
No. 38 (tie) Sid Otton (Washington) 394-131
No. 40 *Ken Leonard – Sacred Heart-Griffin HS (Illinois) 393-79
No. 41 *Reno Saccoccia – Steubenville HS (Ohio) 392-77
No. 42 Ron Stolski – Brainerd HS (Minnesota) 389-183-5
No. 43 Willie Varner (South Carolina) 383-132-10
No. 44 Ron Holtman (Missouri) 381-103-4
No. 45 Frank Lenti (Illinois) 374-77
*Will be a head coach in 2021