Lincoln County Head Coach Larry Campbell, with the region-clinching win last week, moved into a tie with South Carolina's Willie Varner for seventh place on the national all-time high school football win list.
Of course, like many coaches, our "Coach" will be the first to tell you that he has never won a game on the field. This breed of coach always points to the players who make the plays on the field, their assistants who put in the long hours, and the community that provides support in so many ways.
All of that is true, but each game still weighs heaviest on the shoulders of the head coach. Since the start of the 1972 season, in Lincoln County that has been Larry Campbell. Wins were few and far between that first year, but that Red Devil magic was being rekindled. LCHS came up one win short of the region title the next season, and played for the state title the next fall. The next 30 years have become a story of legend.
"The Campbell Years" now represent one of the most sustained, successful periods of high school football anywhere, anytime. And when you consider this was done at a small public school in a football-crazy state like Georgia, the accomplishment's of Campbell's Red Devils are even more amazing. Twenty-seven region titles in 34 seasons, with six other second or third place finishes. Nine state titles, losing to the eventual state champion 14 times in the playoffs. The most wins, games, and playoff wins of any Georgia team since 1980.
Coach Campbell is now 383-68-3, winning nearly 85% of all games. He is tied with Willie Varner, coach at Woodruff, South Carolina, from 1954 to 1996. Coach Varner's 43-year record is 383-132-10. Coach Campbell reached the 383-win mark 9 years faster, and lost only about half the number of games along the way. John McKissick of Summerville SC continues to extend his national all-time win mark to a present 526-126-13 in his 54th season; despite some health issues, the 78-year-old McKissick continues to lead his Green Wave, 7-2 in 2005. Click here for the National All-Time Coaching Win list. "Coach" is currently 4th among active coaches nationally.
Some coaches have success for a few years at one school, and move on to better money at a bigger school. Others, like Campbell and McKissick, spend their entire careers at a single location. When narrowing the all-time list to those single-school coaches, Coach Campbell is 4th all-time and 4th active. Click here for the national coaching single-school list.
Larry Campbell's winning percentage is even more impressive when considered nationally. When looking at the best coaches ever in high school football, "Coach"es winning percentage (.8469) is the fourth best ever, and second best among active coaches. Click here for national coaching winning percentage list.
And of course each win by Larry Campbell extends his Georgia all-time coaching wins record.
Congratulations to "The Legend."