Jefferson’s McFerrin retires, ends career with second state title, 340th victory

T. McFerrin, who led Jefferson to its first-ever state championship in his 38th season as a head coach in 2012, announced his retirement Thursday morning.

McFerrin’s record is 340-102-4, making him the fourth most-winning football coach among those who spent most of their careers in Georgia. A native of Tennessee who got his first head coaching job in 1968 at Lithonia, McFerrin had more success at more schools than any coach in Georgia history.

McFerrin said his final season might’ve been his best.

‘’This year stands right up there at top of the ladder,’’ McFerrin said. ‘’I talked to my players this morning, and it was an emotional thing. I told them they couldn’t have given me a better retirement present. I never saw that [state championship] coming. It came out of the blue.’’

McFerrin was a head coach at eight Georgia schools. He set a state record this year as the first Georgia coach to lead five different schools to the state semifinals. The other schools were Lithonia, Forest Park, Peachtree and Elbert County.

McFerrin took seven teams to the quarterfinals (including Tucker and South Gwinnett), also a state record. McFerrin is one of 14 coaches to win state championships at two schools. He won his first at Elbert County in 1995.

Jefferson’s championship season caught many by surprise. Unranked in preseason, Jefferson returned only four starters on defense and four on offense and hadn’t played in a state final since 1977.

Jefferson had lured McFerrin from retirement in 2009, as he had most previously coached at South Gwinnett in 2004.  Jefferson was 39-9 in McFerrin’s four seasons there.

‘’This is my final retirement,’’ McFerrin said. “My wife [Jane] and I have agreed on that. I’m turning 71 in February. This is the right time.’’

14 comments Add your comment

Stewart Cone

January 3rd, 2013
1:33 pm

There will not be a better coach or a better man than T. McFerrin. Congratulations coach. Well done.

88 Tiger

January 3rd, 2013
2:35 pm

I played for T at Tucker in the late 80’s. He is a fine man with the principals and honesty any father looks for in guiding his son. Congratulations Coach and enjoy your retirement!


January 3rd, 2013
4:01 pm

Jack Stephens

January 3rd, 2013
4:52 pm

T and Jane are even better people. My father respected Coach as much as anyone he has ever known.

Colorado Dawg

January 3rd, 2013
5:43 pm

Dang you Coach T, will never forgive you for having your team (Peachtree) play over their heads and knock us (9-1 Hab Central) out of of the playoffs my senior year (1981). In all seriousness, you are a class act and a great coach. Congratulations on a great career.


January 3rd, 2013
6:44 pm

None finer. don’t know him personally, but have followed his career for a long time, and getting kids to win everywhere you go is more than X’s and O’s. He got kids to believe in themselves, their teammates, Their school and him. Good luck coach and many happy healthy days ahead.


January 3rd, 2013
6:59 pm

I am former player at Jefferson High School and have continued to follow the program for 25+ years. I’m also a former high school football coach and have been around the game for most of my life. I have never seen a better job of coaching at any level of competition than what Coach McFerrin did this past year. It was absolutely mind blowing. Those kids were undersized and outmanned in every game YET played with more heart and determination than I’ve ever seen in 40 years of watching football.


January 3rd, 2013
9:38 pm

I have known T and his family for 35+ years. My family would go to Peachtree games even before I played there. He was the first person that I talked to before I decided to make teaching and coaching a career. The thing that stands out about that conversation is that he did not sugarcoat the details. He is very honest and genuine when talking to you. Believe it or not, when my father could get T’s mind off of football (which is rare), he actually has a sense of humor.
Alot of coaches try to fit their players into their their offense.I feel the reason that T was so successful is that he would adjust his offense according to the talent that he had. He has gone from the Ga Southern wing-t to the I formation the next year. I wish him all the best after his final retirement.


January 3rd, 2013
10:15 pm

Coach T… On behalf of the Paul McDowell crew of the old Dixie Ass’n…we enjoyed working your games while at Peachtree.The game with S.W.DeKalb and coach Alverson remains one of my favorites…Best to you

Larry Williamson

January 4th, 2013
7:38 am

I was a better coach than he was.


January 4th, 2013
8:34 am

Congratulations. It’s good to see a man like McFerrin go out on top. Class Act.

Habersham Dawg

January 4th, 2013
9:39 am

Last name Colorado Dawg, wondering which one you are. Me and Brice thought ya’ll really should have gone further with the D ya’ll played that year.


January 4th, 2013
10:11 am

He was and is a great coach along with his side kick Ray Allen,hate you left Forest Park,MButler FP 74


January 4th, 2013
1:26 pm

Coach T took Elbert County for a ride that none of us will ever forget! What a fitting tribute for a great man and coach the he gets to retire after winning state again.