DUNLAP, Tenn. -- Ken Colquette may be the newest football coach at Sequatchie County High School, but he may have the most experience in that position of any coach in the Southeast.
This fellow has been in the coaching business for more than 40 years and he has a pretty good record with 249 wins against just 81 losses for a winning percentage of .755.
His first head coaching job was at Bridgeport before spending his next 17 years in Jasper as the head coach of the Marion County Warriors where he won four state championships during a highly successful run in the mid 90s.
Since that time, the 66-year-old gentleman has had coaching stints at Vidalia, Georgia for three years, one year as an assistant at Soddy Daisy, eight years at Grundy County where he served as the principal and head coach before spending a season as an assistant for the Ooltewah Owls last fall.
Then he had the bright idea that it was time to retire, but once his long-time buddy Tommy Layne contacted him about the job opening in Dunlap, Colquette just couldn't say no to the Sequatchie County principal.
And as the old story goes, the rest is history.
Colquette has been a master at turning sinking programs around in years past. The bet from this corner is that he'll do the same thing for the Indians.
How long he stays in the position is anybody's guess, but he's having fun so far as he's right in his element of working with young men helping them to be better football players, but more importantly, fine young men who are positive contributors to society.
"Tommy called me back in the spring and said he had a job opening, so here I am" Colquette smiled during a break from his duty in the lunchroom one morning recently.
"I probably should have stayed retired because this is a young man's job, but I'm having fun so far. We're all getting used to the heat, but I've always had a lack of patience when it comes to waiting for success. I keep thinking that we should be getting there quicker," he said matter of factly.
Colquette is thrilled that he has an outstanding staff of assistants, including three who have been head coaches in recent years. Those include Sam Montgomery, Tim Taylor and Curt Jones.
"Between a great group of coaches and some of the best facilities around, this is a dream job for me. Meigs and Whitwell dropped us this year, but we play five teams who made the playoffs last year and we always have a tough district race," he said, knowing that he has to face district foes like Grundy County, Chattanooga Christian, Bledsoe County, Signal Mountain and Notre Dame.
"The key for us is that we have to move the football, so the burden goes to the offensive line. We should be a pretty good football team eventually, but we aren't right now. We have a bunch of kids who got thrown to the dogs last year, which should help us from an experience perspective, but it hasn't so far," he said, shaking his head.
The quarterback for the Indians is a battle between senior Dylan Harvey and sophomore Coby Reed. One may be named the starter before this week's season opener at Community, but so far they have been alternating every other play.
Blake Cate is another senior who will seeing plenty of action as a running back on offense and a linebacker on defense.
The Indians have seven returning starters on both sides of the ball.
"Our strength should be our offensive line. There's no reason we can't be good, but we should be further ahead of where we are right now.
"I'm ready to go. I used to think I was pretty good at rebuilding programs, but we'll see. Not many folks have a better facility than what we have, but we just like to see kids continue to get better. You know it's a process.
"We should be able to start winning this fall, but it may not work out that way. I'm hoping that it will," Colquette concluded.
The Indians are less than a week from their season opener. No doubt, they are ready and maybe a little bit nervous. But one thing is for sure, they have one of the best high school football coaches on their sideline.
If they will just start believing in themselves like he believes in them, everything will be just fine. After all, he's been there and done it many times before.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)