Maryville's George Quarles has been voted the best high school football coach in that state, and he needs your help to win the next round of voting.
USA Today is looking for the country's best high school football coach. Staffers picked 8 candidates from each state to start out, and that group from Tennessee included George Quarles of Maryville, Gary Rankin of Alcoa, and Joe Gaddis of Oak Ridge. When the voting ended on October 8, Quarles had 42% of the vote. Gaddis finished 3rd, and Rankin came in 4th.
Now, it's on to the regional rounds for Quarles. The voting starts at noon on October 9, and runs through October 18.
When the voting opens, Click here to cast your vote!
The fourth installment of USA TODAY High School Sports' "Best Of" contest series kicks off at noon (ET) Monday, Sept. 30, with the first-ever Best High School Football Coach contest. USA TODAY staffers have selected eight active head football coaches in each state after more than a month of conversations with local media and other state/school officials with high school football expertise. From there, the fans will decide which coach emerges from a list of 408.
Three East Tennessee coaches are in the running: George Quarles of Maryville, Gary Rankin of Alcoa, and Joe Gaddis of Oak Ridge.
There will be three rounds of voting. The state round begins at noon (ET) Sept. 30 and ends at noon (ET) Oct. 8. The 51 winners – each state plus Washington, D.C. - advance to a regional round, where they will be divided among eight regions of six or seven coaches apiece. The regional round begins at noon (ET) Oct. 9 and ends at noon (ET) Oct. 18. The eight regional winners move onto the national round, which starts at noon (ET) Oct. 21 and ends at noon (ET) Oct. 29. The champion is crowned based on most votes in the final round.
The athletic department of the winning coach will receive $2,000. Second through fifth places also receive cash prizes for the athletic departments: second ($1,000), third ($500), fourth ($250) and fifth ($100). All eight finalists receive banners for their schools.