As he read through the resumes of more than 40 applicants for his vacant head football coaching job, one name stood out to Sequatchie County High School principal Tommy Layne.
Layne didn't even have to read the impressive list of accomplishments of Ken Colquette. He knew them well already. Colquette, one of the area's prep football coaching legends, agreed Tuesday to come out of retirement and take over the Indians program.
"Ken's coaching ability is beyond question," Layne said. "Anyone who has spent any time at all in this area knows about his knowledge of the game and his success, so all of that really just made him stand out among a really good group of coaches who had applied.
"His age or the fact that he hasn't been a head coach for a few years was not a concern at all. He's got a lot of energy to get back into it, he's excited and so are we."
Colquette, 65, was at the school Tuesday afternoon to introduce himself to the faculty and team members. He had hip-replacement surgery in late December but is ahead of schedule in his recovery and will begin installing his offensive and defensive sets this spring with assistants Sam Montgomery and Curt Jones, two former head coaches.
"I'm a football coach. It's all I've ever done," said Colquette, who was a defensive assistant at Ooltewah last season. "I got bored being retired and wanted to get back into it, and once I was around the kids at Ooltewah last year, I got excited about it again. When this chance came about, it was a good fit because I know Tommy and I know Sam and a lot of the folks at Sequatchie, and it's close to home so there were just a lot of reasons that seemed to add up.
"I don't know any of the players, so that's the first thing to do. I may be the offensive coordinator, but we'll have to see where we are as a staff and then see what kind of offense fits the talent we have and then start settling all that other stuff before spring practice."
Colquette was first a successful head coach at Bridgeport (Ala.) before taking over at Marion County in 1980 and guiding that program to unparalleled success. The Warriors won four state championships, were state runners-up twice and had just one losing season in his term. During one stretch in the mid-1990s, they went 56-1.
After resigning from Marion in 1996, Colquette coached at Vidalia (Ga.) and Grundy County before ending his head coaching career with a 249-81 overall record. He also worked as an assistant at Soddy-Daisy and Marion County and was an assistant at Ooltewah last season.
Colquette replaces Chad Barger, who resigned shortly after last season's 2-8 finish, the first losing record in Barger's five-year tenure. Barger, who compiled a 29-26 overall record with the Indians, brought stability to a program that had had four coaches in six years and had gone 1-19 the two seasons before he took over.
He guided the Indians to a 6-5 record in his first season, the first winning record for the program in eight years, and led them to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 13 years. They reached the second round of the Class 3A playoffs two years ago.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 20 years, starting at the News-Free Press as a 19-year-old reporter. He has been with the Times Free Press since its inception and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers in the nation ...