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.’’