Alcoa’s Rankin ready for more beyond Friday

Tennessee’s winningest coach going for 17th state title Friday
Alcoa Head Football Coach
Alcoa Head Football Coach(Rick Russo)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:10 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Veteran coach Gary Rankin, the winningest high school football coach in Tennessee history is going for his 17th state championship this Friday and the coach tells WVLT sports that he’s not done yet.

Twelve of coach Rankin’s 16 state titles have come with the Alcoa Tornadoes, the previous four came while he was head coach at Riverdale.

The TSSAA Hall of Fame head coach is also in search of a seventh consecutive state crown and what would be the program’s 20th all-time gold ball. The previous six were played at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville. This year’s Blue Cross Bowl is in Chattanooga, which provides his team with a new challenge says coach Rankin, “We were in a comfort zone in Tennessee Tech, we’ve been there quite a few times. I’m looking forward to playing at UTC, I know they’ll do a great job putting on the game. I don’t think it really matters where the game is being played, but it’s a different scenario. I’ll be excited to be playing in a different city.”

The Tornadoes’ opponent in this year’s Class-3A state championship game will be East Nashville. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga. Coach Rankin says his team will try and keep their usual routine and not travel until Friday. In fact, the Tornadoes are set to leave out from school at 7:15 a.m. bound for Chattanooga and what they hope will be another title.

You can watch their game and all of this year’s state championship games on MyVLT.

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