KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On a break from pre-season practice, a combined 140 years of football coaching experience gathered back where it all began.

The four Knox County High School coaches stood on Bob Black Field at Fulton High school.

Eddie Courtney is Farragut's head football coach. He graduated from Fulton in 1971.

Rob Black is Fulton's head football coach. He graduated from Fulton in 1984.

Mike Potter is starting his first season as Hardin Valley's head coach. He graduated from Fulton in 1987.

As you flip through yearbooks from those dates, their pictures fill the team sports sections. And there's one other man who's photo is always there.

Bob Black is on Fulton's coaching staff with his son Rob. He graduated from Fulton in 1960.

"I've been coaching forever."

And by forever, he means he's spent 54 years coaching at Fulton.

"The reason I got into coaching was because of Coach Black," said Courtney.

Black has been a powerhouse and staple at Fulton for generations.

"Most all the kids here now call me Papaw," Black said.

But that wasn't the case when now-coaches Potter, Black and Courtney played for Black.

"He was hard on us," said Courtney. "Nothing was cruel he just demanded you do things right."

"He was tougher on his son I can promise you that," Black's son Rob said.

"At the end of the day you also knew he was gonna come up, hug your neck, tell you he loves you," Potter said.

"I worked you to death before I hugged your neck," Black replied.

"You sure did," said Potter. "You sure did."

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Potter, Black and Black all coached together at Fulton for years before Potter made the switch to Hardin Valley.

The newest of the bunch to earn the title of "head coach," he talked these Fulton grads and coaches through the hiring process.

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Through it all, Bob Black is the kind of coach these men have worked to become.

"Everything about him is the right thing, why you want to be a coach," said Courtney.

Black's son Rob is now next to him in years of Fulton yearbook photos after working outside of academics before he got into coaching.

"When I decided, man, I think I want to coach, that's what drove me to do that," said Black. "To know that I can influence somebody else's life in a positive way."

That's what all of them are doing. Just take it from their players.

"He's just not gonna give up if you do something wrong," said James Coleman about Coach Rob Black.

"It's not what you do on the field all the time but it's what you do off," said Gavin Wilkinson about Coach Courtney.

"He's just always there for you, whatever you need," Luke Philipkowski said about Coach Potter.

"Bad times, good times, they're gonna rally with us and I like that," Indae Watson said about the father and son. 

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Fulton has always prided itself on being not a team or school, but a family.

"Until you become a part of that, it's probably hard to understand," said Rob Black.

Players who are coached by Fulton grads know what it's like, no matter which school they play for.

"I really believe my calling is to take what was given to me, the culture that was built here at Fulton, and take it to a different community," said Courtney.

That's what he's done at Farragut, and what Potter's done at Hardin Valley.

All these schools play each other, pray for each other, and know their coaches have their backs.

"I'm going to be asked in heaven what I did with those kids, what influence I made," said Courtney. "Yes the championships are great, the wins are great. But the impact comes from having Coach Black to mentor me early."

It always comes back to Fulton and Bob Black.

"I still love coaching," he said. "I love it. That's my calling. That's what I'm supposed to be doing and what I'm gonna continue til I'm gone."