BRYSON CITY, NC – Bryson City, Swain High defensive coordinator Neil Blankenship has been named the head football coach at Swain High School. Blankenship takes over for Sam Pattillo, who stepped down. Blankenship is in his 19th year as a coach at Swain, he has served as defensive coordinator for both Pattillo and former head coach Rod White. He is a graduate of Mars Hill College and Swain High School. Prior to this year he served as the head varisty girls basketball coach for 16 seasons. Blankenship is married to Sonya Blankenship, the head volleyball coach at Swain, and they have 3 children.