High School Football

One of Kentucky’s top high school football coaches resigns after 19-year run

Pulaski County coach John Hines talked to his team after practice on Wednesday August 18, 2016 in Somerset, Ky.
Pulaski County coach John Hines talked to his team after practice on Wednesday August 18, 2016 in Somerset, Ky. mcornelison@herald-leader.com

A fixture in Kentucky high school football who guided a program from obscurity to perennial title contention is leaving the prep ranks.

John Hines, who coached Pulaski County High School to its first football championship in 2014, resigned from the Maroons’ head coaching job Thursday to take a position on the Georgetown College football staff.

Hines went 163-116 in 23 seasons. He was the head coach at Barren County for four seasons, during which he led the Trojans to their first ever post-season victory.

His best years came at Pulaski County, where he was 146-88 over a 19-year stretch. In a four-year stretch (2013-2016) the Maroons played in four state-title games. They defeated Graves County, 14-7, for the Class 5A title in 2014.

While at Pulaski County Hines coached the all-time leader in career receptions, Jake Johnson, who now plays for Georgetown College. Zach Ferris, a lineman who signed with Marshall University after the season, was the first FBS football player in the school’s history.

In a lengthy “thank-you” letter announcing his resignation, Hines gave all credit for Pulaski County’s success to the players that have come through the program.

“All of the successes of Pulaski County Football belong to you,” (sic) Hines wrote. “You have all had a hand in building PC Football to the position it sits in today.”

Hines’ letter

Below is the full (unedited) release from Hines on his resignation from Pulaski County High School’s head football coaching job:

It is with great bittersweet that I am resigning my position as Head Football Coach at Pulaski County High School, effective today. There are many people that come to my mind today, and I would like to say a special “thank you” to them for all they have done for me and for our program here at PC over the 23 years that I have been a “Football Coach” at Pulaski County High School.

Thanks to all of the Principals that have been very good to me and our program. Mr. Dave Fraley, who created a position to bring me here in 1995. To Mr. Larry Chaney, who hired me as head coach in 1999. Thanks also to Principals Rob Bowers, Mark Wilson, Mike Murphy, and current principal Rodney McAnnich for making my job so wonderful here. Thanks guys, for all of your support, and for making this job so much fun.

Thanks also to all the Athletic Directors I have had the pleasure of working for, and for being so supportive of me and our program. Coach Mark Wilson, who hired me as Assistant Coach and Head Track Coach here in 1995. To Coach Gordon Bocock, who hired me as Head Football Coach in 1999. Also to the “late” Randy Elmore, and to my current AD Coach Brian Miller, thanks for being so supportive, and for being a friend. All of you have been wonderful to work for.

Thanks to Superintendents Mr. Burt Minton, Mr. Tim Eaton, & Mr. Steve Butcher, for their support of PC football over the years. Also a special thanks to Mr. Jim Wilson, who served on the school board for several years during my time at PC. Thanks for your support.

Thanks to all the coaches that have worked on my staff over the years. My current staff, Stephen Godby, Josh Roberts, Mike Morgan, Stan Andrews, Jason Roberts, Phil Russell, David Seward, Jacob Denney, Cody Wesley, Chaplain Gordy Prather, and Trainer Caitie Jackson, for all you have done for PC football and for being so loyal to me and to the program. Also “thanks” to former coaches that have worked for me, Scott Gregory, Keith Rose, Scott Sullivan, Johnny Cain, Terrell Harper, Jeff Turner, Steven Butcher, Edwin Sellers, Reece Turner, Jeff Roberts, Chris Napier, Steve Sharp, Joey Warren, Jonathan Denham, Stephen Newton, Jacob Gross, Brian Campbell, and former Team Chaplain’s, Greg Thompson & Joel Patton. I can’t thank these people enough for all they have done for me and the program. They are the reason Pulaski County Football has been so successful.

And most of all, a very special “thank you” to all of the players that came through our program the last 19 years. I loved every one of you, and I gave you all my best. You will always be special people to me. You were the program…… the wins…… the championships….. All of the successes of Pulaski County Football belong to you. You have all had a hand in building PC Football to the position it sits in today.

Thanks to all the Media folks that have covered us with such positive coverage over the years. The “A Team,” Mike Kerr, Paul Wright, Duane Clark, and all the folks at Lake Cumberland Sports.com. Thanks to the “A Team” for being there for every game of my career, in a variety of media roles. Thanks to the Commonwealth-Journal for the great coverage. To Steve Cornelius, PC’s main man Doug Eads, and all of the CJ crew that have worked with us over the years. Thanks to WYMT, Marcus Browning, Jamie McCracken, Brian Milam, and many more at WYMT that have been so good to us on Sports Overtime over the years. It was always extra exciting when WYMT was in the locker room for the pregame talk, or at practice for shots and interviews, or so many times on the sidelines. It added an extra buzz to the PC Football experience to know we were the “Game of the Week,” or that one of our kids was in a special highlight. Thanks also to WLEX, and all the sports crew there for the great coverage, to WTVQ, for always having us on, and to WKYT, for being here probably more than they should. We appreciate all of you for how you covered PC football and gave our kids a special “spotlight” they will never forget.

And above all, a heartfelt “thank you” goes to Coach John Cain. It’s a disgrace that he wasn’t included in the initial class of the Pulaski “Hall of Fame” this past winter. Coach Cain risked it all in 1995, and came to Pulaski County High to bring this program to relevance, when no one else thought it could be done. (No one else wanted the job!) Coach Cain left PC after setting the foundation for all of the successes we have enjoyed the last 19 years. He also left as the “All Time Winningest Coach” in PC Football when he retired after the 1998 season. Thanks Coach Cain, for all you have done for me over the years, from my high school days to now, you have always been a mentor. Thanks for bringing me to Pulaski County.

Thanks also too many Booster Club workers, parents, and other fans of PC Football for working so tirelessly to help the program. And most of all, thanks for coming to the games.

John Hines


Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps