Calvin Short, the former head coach of Jeff Porter and Jim Grantham at Gallatin High School, will be inducted to the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Saturday. Coach Short also was a part of the coaching staff at White House High School in 2005 as an volunteer assistant with the freshman team.
By Chris Brooks for The News Examiner
COOKEVILLE – Three former prep football coaches at Sumner County schools will be part of the first class inducted into the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Calvin Short, Bill Derrick and Bob Cummings will join 43 others in the inaugural class, to be honored at the Clarion Hotel in Cookeville.
In all, 46 coaches make up the initial class of coaches entering the TFCA Hall of Fame. Short (2000), Derrick (2005) and Cummings (2009) have all been inducted into the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
“I’m happy about, and it’s a nice honor,” Short said. “I’m tickled to death to be considered for it.”
Short led Gallatin High to three state championships in his 18 years with the Green Wave. Gallatin collected Class AAA titles in 1978, 1989 and 1992, and finished runner-up in 1982, 1897 and 1991.
“As you start getting older, things like this start happening if you live long enough,” Short said. “A lot of these guys going in with this first group, we’re getting on up there in age now. In fact, some of them may have already passed away.”
During Short’s tenure, the Green Wave amassed a record of 205-30. On the field that now bears his name, Gallatin dropped 14 games in those 18 seasons. Gallatin never won fewer than seven games in a season under Short, and won at least 10 contests in 13 of the 18 seasons.
“I’ve always said, even when I was coaching, that we had a strong county,” Short said. “In most all sports, really, with Hendersonville, Gallatin and the other schools, we were strong overall. Over the years, Sumner County’s had some very strong programs.”
Short said he plans to attend the induction ceremony.
“I think my wife and I are going to drive up for the breakfast,” Short said. “It’ll be nice to go up and see a lot of the old guys. It’s a lot of fun.”
Derrick’s career included seven seasons at Hendersonville from 1987 to 1993.
“I spent some very happy years at Hendersonville,” Derrick said. “My wife and I enjoyed the community, the school and the whole atmosphere. It was tremendous. We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be there.”
The Commandos went 40-35 during that span, including a run to the Class AAA semifinals in 1988.
“The competition was tremendous,” Derrick said. “The kids were just great, and everything was A-plus when we were there.”
He became Father Ryan’s head football coach in 1976, succeeding Boots Donnelly, who left to coach at Middle Tennessee State University.
Father Ryan made three state playoff appearances and played in three bowl games under Derrick, compiling a record of 69-19.
Derrick coached at Lawrence County for three years, leading the Wildcats to a state playoff appearance in 1986 before taking over at Hendersonville the following year.
Derrick’s final year was 1993, the same season that Hendersonville’s current head coach, Bruce Hatfield, joined the staff as an assistant. Hatfield became the Commandos’ head coach in 1998 and is the longest-tenured coach in school history. Hatfield was an assistant coach at Lawrence County from 1990 to 1992.
“When I left Hendersonville, I think I recommended Hatfield to coach there,” Derrick said. “He’s done an excellent job. He did an excellent job at Lawrence County, and he’s doing an excellent job at Hendersonville.”
Short coached against Derrick six times, winning five straight from 1989-1993 after Derrick’s Commandos defeated Gallatin in 1988.
“I know that he’s absolutely a good football coach,” Derrick said of Short. “I’m glad that people are kind of looking that maybe I’m of the same caliber. I don’t know if they are or not, but I would like to think that they were. (Short) is a fine man and a fine coach, and it’s an honor to be put in there with him.”
Short also won all four meetings against Cummings’ Buccaneer squads from 1981 to 1984. Cummings and Derrick did not face off in the five seasons both men held head-coaching positions.
“I don’t believe I ever coached against Bob Cummings,” Derrick said. “I don’t believe he was (at Beech) when I was at Hendersonville. I remember that he was an outstanding coach.”
Cummings had multiple stops at different levels during his career. He began at Nashville’s Isaac Litton High in the 1940s before becoming an assistant in the collegiate ranks.
From 1954-1965, Cummings held assistant positions at Tennessee Tech University, Vanderbilt University, Georgia Tech, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Miami (Fla.).
Then, Cummings took over at Hendersonville in 1966, compiling a 45-26-4 record with the Commandos. Hendersonville went to five bowl games under Cummings, winning three (1966, 1967 and 1972).
He then took an assistant coaching position for the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints from 1973-1976.
Cummings returned to Sumner County and became the first head coach in Beech High history in 1980. Cummings led the Buccaneers for the first five seasons, amassing three winning campaigns and taking the team to the state playoffs in its second and third seasons.
Hall of Fame inductees and one family member will be admitted free to Saturday’s event (if the honoree is deceased, however, two family members or two school representatives will be admitted free). Admission for TFCA members will be $10, while general admission tickets to the induction ceremony are $15.
List of TFCA Hall of Fame inductees
Turney Ford (Gordonsville), Jim Satterfield (Trousdale County), Tommy Owen (Montgomery Bell Academy), Calvin Short (Gallatin), Jim Cartwright (Columbia), Nick Coutras (Overton), Bill Derrick (Father Ryan/Lawrence County/Hendersonville), Jerry Pearson (Dickson County), Wes Elrod (several Metro Nashville schools), Glen McCadams (Lipscomb Academy), Boyce Smith (Springfield), Leonard Staggs (Lawrence County), Lee Pate (Murfreesboro Central), William Bouldin (Franklin County), Bill Brimm (Madison/Goodlettsville), Ralph Spangler (Cheatham County), Louis Thompson (Lincoln County), Bob Cummings (Litton/Hendersonville/Beech),Gary Rankin (Smith Co./Riverdale/Alcoa), Ted Wilson (Maryville), Bob Black (Fulton), King Berrong (Sweetwater), Chig Ratledge (Loudon), Petie Siler (Morristown), Jim May (Oneida), Fred Sorrells (Greeneville); Ben Martin (Oak Ridge), J.C. Campbell (Hampton), C. Maurice Kelly (Ripley), Paul Caywood (Lexington), John Tucker (Milan/Humboldt), John Hooper (Haywood County), Richard Ross (Jackson Central Merry), Walter Kilzer (Peabody), Jim Stowe (Lexington), Jack Cain (Haywood County), Andy Pugh (Halls), Tom Nix (Christian Brothers), John Johnson, Jr. (Manassas), William Woodruff (Carver), Al Cate (Memphis Central), Jake Rudolph (Memphis University School), Red Etter (Chattanooga Central, Baylor), Don Grider (South Pittsburg), Ken Colquette (Marion County) and Benny Monroe (Cleveland).