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Ralph Cummins

Ralph Cummins arrived at Clintwood High School as an assistant football coach and girl’s basketball coach in the fall of 1950. His girl’s basketball team won two championships at Clintwood. He left Clintwood in 1952 for Gate City High School to coach football and girls basketball. His girl’s basketball team at Gate City lost only one game and won the District Championship. He returned to Clintwood in the fall of 1953 as head coach and football coach, and in 1954, he became Athletic Director. He retired from football coaching following the 1987 season, his 40th year in coaching, and his 35th as head football coach at Clintwood. During those 35 years, his football teams won 271 games, went undefeated 10 times, and won 23 Lonesome Pine District Sportsmanship trophies. From 1957-59, Cummins teams went 27 consecutive games without defeat. His 1977 team was 10-0 in the regular season and won a fifth consecutive LPD Championship while the 1978 team went 13-0 and won a third State Championship. From 1973 to 1979, Clintwood football teams won 64 consecutive regular season games. Coach Cummins was voted Coach of the Year in Southwest Virginia eight times. In his 40 years as a coach, his football and basketball teams won a total of 28 championships. In the last 15 seasons, the Greenwave football teams won three State Championships, and 144 wins, 24 losses and two ties. He is a member of the National High School Sports Hall of Fame, The Virginia High School League’s Sports Hall of Fame, and Emory & Henry College Hall of Fame. Cummins was voted the National High School Football “Coach of the Year” in 1987. He was also President of the Virginia High School Coaches’ Association from 1982-84 and President of the National Federation of High School Coaches’ Association from 1987-88. Cummins 271 victories make him one of the ten winningest football coaches in Virginia history. He and his wife, Carolyn, presently reside in Clintwood, Virginia.

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