Parkview football Cecil Flowe, whose teams have won four state championships and once forged a state-record 46-game winning streak, told his players Friday night that this would be his final season.
The announcement came after Parkview defeated Central Gwinnett 21-13.
‘’I really made the decision in February and began to plan but said I wanted to finish with this group of seniors,’’ Flowe said. ‘’Phyiscally I’m fine, but the amount of energy it takes doesn’t come as easily any more. Parkview is still a great place, and when I came here in 1991, I said I’d like to retire here, this is going to be home. And it has been.’’
Flowe moved with his wife to Cumming earlier this year and let the administration know of his likely plans. He said that many in the Parkview community were aware of where things were headed, so he wanted to set the record straight with the players. He said he didn’t make the announcement earlier for fear that it would be a distraction for the team.
Flowe’s record in 21 seasons as a head coach is 196-66. He has more victories than any other coach in Gwinnett County history. Flowe said his decision was not related to the team’s current season. The Panthers are 2-6 after a 9-4 finish in 2012. A playoff berth remains possible, though not likely.
‘’We won tonight, lot of fun, so the game is still fun,’’ Flowe said.
A native of DeKalb County, Flowe came to Parkview as an assistant under newly hired head coach Chuck Mize in 1991. Mize was murdered before the 1993 season, and Flowe succeeded his close friend. Following the blueprint that they had developed, Flowe rallied the community and built a state power.
In 1997, Parkview won its first state championship. From 2000 to 2002, Parkview won three straight state titles and went 45-0. The winning streak reached a state record of 46 (later broken by Buford). Parkview is the only school in the last 50 years to put together three straight undefeated seasons in the highest classification.
Flowe has coached 26 Parkview players who made the AJC’s first-team all-state team. They have included Caleb King, Brad Lester, Sean Dawkins, Tim Gustafson, Zeb McKenzey, Jeremy Muyres, Jon Stinchcomb and Matt Stinchcomb.
‘’It would be very foolish to say it was about me because it wasn’t,’’ Flowe said. “It was hundreds and thousands of people who invested time. I’ve had a lot of good coaches and players. I didn’t get into the business for accolade. I got into it to work and to build football programs that everybody in the community would be proud of.’’
Flowe said that he intends to work again, but isn’t sure in what field. He didn’t rule out a return to coaching. His hobby is racing trucks.
‘’I’ll wait and see what’s out there next,’’ Flowe said. “I might coach again, but I know I’m going to work. I’m not going to sit. I’ve got to see this one more group through, and then I’ll see.’’