Sad news for the Highlanders that retired coach Jack Diggs passed away on Oct. 15 in Owensboro KY. Funeral is set for Sunday Oct. 23 in Huntsville TN at Four Oaks Funeral Home.
Jack was 91 at his death.
Coach Jack Diggs (Scott County and several other schools)
5 replies to this topic
Posted 19 October 2016 - 11:53 AM
He was great coach. He coached Tony Lambert and Lambert coached with him at Huntsville Middle School for a few years. "He taught me a lot of things," said Oneida football coach Tony Lambert, who played on Diggs' 1984 district championship team at Scott High and references Diggs' philosophy in many of his own coaching strategies.
My brother and a lot of friends played for him at HMS(Huntsville Middle School) in the mid 90s. It was always fun watching coach lol especially at practice, he expected the best out of his players every play. Get mad, throw his white hat on the ground, get it dirty or grass stained and say "boys look what you made me do!" lol.
I remember one practice my brother's 7th grade year him getting mad and making the offense run a play 20-30 times saying along the lines of, "Boys we're going to run that play all night if we have to even if it gets dark. I'm an old man, I don't have anything else to do, my wife is an understanding women, if I'm late for dinner it's not a big deal. Ain't that right coach Lambert?!. TL: That's right coach! lol.
He had a HMS team 1 year that only lost 1 game to Oneida 6-0(Coached by Bill Hall) that won on a broken play that a young Lawson boy that ended up being a big OHS player made something out of nothing and ran from one side of the field then all the way back around for TD. They beat a big 9th grade team that year 20-0, outscored their opponents I believe 306-12.
I remember someone had ask him what was the best winning score he'd ever seen in a game, replying something to the effect, 28-0. Score every quarter and hold the other team scoreless.
Rest in Peace coach Diggs!
Edited by TheOgre78, 19 October 2016 - 12:05 PM.
Posted 19 October 2016 - 12:01 PM
HUNTSVILLE — Funeral services were being planned Tuesday for legendary local football coach Jack Diggs, who died Saturday in Owensboro, Ky. He was 91.
Diggs coached football for five seasons at the old Huntsville High School in the 1960s, and coached at Scott High School from 1977 to 1988. Later, he spent a number of years at Huntsville Middle School. In retirement, he volunteered his time to assist with football programs at Oneida High School and McCreary Central High School.
Diggs built Huntsville High into a small school powerhouse in the 1960s, turning around the Bears' rivalry against Oneida. He left Huntsville in 1969 to coach in Georgia, but made it clear that he wanted to come back. And in 1977, he got the opportunity, when he was hired to coach Scott High School.
The Lake City native coached his native Lakers for seven years before moving across the mountain to Huntsville in 1964.
Diggs' successes in Huntsville were numerous, but perhaps most notable was the about-face of the Bears' rivalry with Oneida. Diggs inherited a team that not defeated Oneida since 1934, losing 21 consecutive games to the Indians. But Diggs' first Huntsville team in 1964 won the annual rivalry, 13-0. In the five years Diggs was at Huntsville, the Bears won three games against Oneida. Huntsville won just once against Oneida in the 26 meetings that Diggs didn't coach.
Diggs' 1968 Huntsville team scored 112 points in a game against Sunbright, which still stands as the third-most points scored in a Tennessee high school football game. Eddie Byrge scored 11 touchdowns in that game, a mark that still stands as a state record for single-game scoring. No other player in Tennessee high school football history has scored more than eight touchdowns in a game.
In all, Diggs was 41-8-3 in his five seasons at Huntsville, a .788 winning percentage that still stands as one of the best coaching tenures in Scott County's history.
Following the 1968 season, Diggs left for Dalton, Ga., to serve as head coach and athletics director at Valley Point High School. In six years at Valley Point, Diggs rebuilt the program in much the same manner that he built the Huntsville program. His career record at Valley Point was 38-21. In his fourth season, his team finished with a 7-3 record, which was the school record for wins in a season. The following season was even better, as the team finished 8-1.
One year later, Valley Point merged with East Brook to form East Whitfield Consolidated High School. Diggs served as athletics director two years before getting the offer to come back to Scott County.
Scott High made the call to Diggs after James Dobson resigned his position to take the head coaching job at Kingston. Diggs' first two seasons saw the Highlanders amass 3-7 records each year. But by 1979, he had his system in place. With a young quarterback named Bill Hall ready to take the reigns, Diggs' Highlanders were ready to make some noise. And they did.
The 1979 and 1980 Scott High teams each finished 8-2, which still stands as the best two-year stretch in school history. The 1979 team shut out six of the 10 opponents it faced, and gave up only 26 total points. The 1980 team also shut out six of its 10 opponents, giving up only 40 points.
The 1981 and 1982 seasons were rebuilding years at Scott High, but Diggs' team was back to form in 1983, finishing with a 7-4 record. The 1984 team was even better, finishing 7-4 and notching the school's first and only district championship before falling to Maryville in the playoffs. The 1985 team also finished 7-4.
Scott was back to rebuilding form in 1986 and 1987. Diggs said prior to the start of the 1988 season that he felt his team was capable of a winning record once again. But the Highlanders finished 1-9, and Diggs stepped aside after the season, turning the program over to Robert Wright.
Diggs' record at Scott High was 61-62. His career record as a high school coach was 140-91-3.
Diggs was best known for his power offense approach that prized strong runningbacks and powerful offensive linemen. On his tombstone, which was placed at the Mossop Memorial Cemetery in Huntsville after the death of his wife, Wilma, the term "Fast 35" is enscribed. That was his signature play, which ran the right halfback off left tackle from his full-house T formation offense.
"He taught me a lot of things," said Oneida football coach Tony Lambert, who played on Diggs' 1984 district championship team at Scott High and references Diggs' philosophy in many of his own coaching strategies.
Mike Keeton, a supervisor at Oneida Water Department who also played on Diggs' 1984 championship team, said his four years on Diggs' Scott High teams were among the happiest times of his life.
"You knew at some point and time he was going to get on you, but you got used to that. You never wanted to disappoint him," Keeton said. "My self-discipline, my self-motivation and determination I owe a huge chunk of to Coach Diggs.
"He will be missed greatly, but his impact on his players will go on for many years to come," Keeton added.
Funeral services had not been scheduled as of Tuesday morning.
Posted 19 October 2016 - 02:45 PM
As a young player and a young coach I always looked up to Coach Diggs. When I came to Scott High as a coach and got to meet the man I had heard so many stories about I was in awe. Over the years the respect and admiration I had for the man grew. Coach Diggs was Scott High football. He influenced several generations of young people in our community and will always be remembered with respect and admiration. I know I still enjoy hearing stories about Coach Diggs from those on staff at Scott High now. Coach will be missed but always remembered.
Scott High Head Coach
Posted 19 October 2016 - 03:06 PM
I'd love to hear his name mentioned at the last Scott home game! Thanks for the great comment!
When I think of him and Scott County football I think of boxing movie name Diggstown.
Edited by TheOgre78, 19 October 2016 - 08:23 PM.
Posted 19 October 2016 - 08:33 PM
thanks to coach diggs. you will be missed. thankful to have had him as my highschool coach.