Fulton's Coatney Named Tennessee Football Coach of the Year

KNOXVILLE - Buck Coatney has been selected as the 2006-07 State of Tennessee Football Coach of the Year by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA). His name has been submitted to the National Federation of High School Associations and he will be receiving a certificate recognizing this distinguished honor.

Fulton High School’s 26-7 2006 season-opening win over Austin-East was a milestone victory for Head Football Coach Buck Coatney. The Falcons gave Coatney his 100th coaching victory as FHS head coach. This is an amazing feat, considering that when Coatney was hired in 1992, Fulton was slated to be closed.

Coatney’s job looked to be a temporary one. Interest in football was slipping at the school, as many players moved to other schools due to the proposed closing. The 1992 team suffered through a 1-9 season, but the lone win was an overtime victory over archrival West.

The Fulton program improved throughout the early 90s. The Falcons made their first of 14 consecutive playoff appearances under Coatney in 1993. By the year 2000, Fulton had re-established itself as a football power in the Knoxville area.

In 2002, Coatney led the Falcons to their first undefeated regular season since 1974, ending the season at the BlueCross Bowl. Coatney became the first-ever coach in Knoxville to lead his team to back-to-back state football championships in 2003 and 2004. Fulton returned to the pinnacle of Class 3A football in 2006, as the Falcons ended the season with a 14-1 record and the school’s third state championship. Currently, Coatney has a 114-74 record as Fulton’s head coach.

Coatney’s roots are colored maroon and white, as his father John captained Fulton’s 1959 team. Coatney was known as a hard-nosed linebacker and tight end on the Falcon teams of the late 70s. He was named to the all-state team and the Knoxville Journal defensive player of the year, as he led Fulton to a region championship in 1979.

Current Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson recruited Coatney to Furman University where he earned Honorable-Mention All-American honors. He began his coaching career at Furman as a graduate assistant. After leaving Furman, Coatney spent two years as an assistant coach at Middlesburg High School in Florida.

He returned to Fulton in 1987, where he served as Defensive Coordinator. He was named Fulton’s 11th head coach in 1992. Coatney is the only football coach to win three consecutive KFL/PrepXtra Coach of the year honors (2002-2004).

For his work in 2004, the Tennessee Sportswriters Association, and the Tennessee Titans named Coatney state coach of the year. Coatney served as the defensive coordinator of the 2005 Tennessee High School All-Star team. He earned his fourth PrepXtra Bob Polston Coach of the Year award, and his third TSWA state Coach of the Year honor following the 2006 season.