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Alcoa announces head football coach Gary Rankin's retirement

Rankin led the Alcoa Tornadoes to 13 state championships in 16 seasons as head coach. He is the winningest coach in Tennessee high school football.

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. — Alcoa High School announced the retirement of legendary football coach Gary Rankin on Thursday. The announcement comes two months after Rankin led the Tornadoes to their 13th TSSAA state championship. 

Rankin spent 16 seasons at the helm of Alcoa's football program after taking over in 2006. Along with the state championships, Rankin coached 14 TSSAA Mr. Football award winners and one Gatorade Player of the Year award winner. 

He is the winningest coach in Tennessee high school football with 467 wins. Rankin is also a member of the TSSAA Hall of Fame, Blount County Hall of Fame, and Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. 

"I consider it both a privilege and an honor to have worked with coach Rankin. I want to thank him for his dedication, his commitment, his innovative approach, and his professionalism," said athletic director Josh Stephens in a statement. 

Rankin began his head coaching career in 1982 at Smith County High School. He became the head coach at Murfreesboro Riverdale in 1990, winning four state championships. 

Brian Nix takes over as head coach for Alcoa football. He has been the Tornadoes' defensive coordinator since 2004. 

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