Bryson City-Friday’s 7-3 win over Tuscola was far from a thing of beauty, for Neil Blankenship and his staff it will go down as a win. Something they have done a lot of over the last 2 years.
With the win, Blankenship moved into a rare category. In his first 3 years (this being only his 3rd year as head coach) he now has more wins than any other coach in school history with 32. Sam Pattillo won 31 in his first 3 years as head coach, while Boyce Deitz notched 30 wins
Let that sink in for a minute. That’s more wins than any football coach in school history had in their first 3 years, and Blankenship is only 5 games into his 3rd year!
Blankenship is now 32-4 in his time at the helm. Boyce Deitz leads all Swain coaches with 201 wins during his 19 years of roaming the sidelines of the field that now bares his name. Rod White, who followed Deitz, is 2nd on the wins list with 94 in 12 years. Norris Jones won 65 games in his 11 years.
In typical fashion, Blankenship was totally unaware of the milestone. When asked about it his reply was his usual unassuming self.
“This is something for our entire program, it is nothing that I have done. We have players who are committed to what we are doing, and the best coaching staff in WNC, if not the state. If it were not for those past coaches, like Coach Pattillo, Coach Deitz, Coach White, Coach Jones and Coach Wright we wouldn’t be where we are today and certainly not able to do the things we have been able to do on the football field. Just to be mentioned with those coaches, well it’s a real honor.”
With his 32 wins, Blankenship is now only 2 wins behind Hall of Famer Carroll Wright, who finished his time at Swain with 34 wins.