John McKissick, who was the nation's winningest football coach at any level, died over the Thanksgiving weekend. He was 93 years old. According to The Post and Courier, McKissick was in hospice care and was surrounded by family at the time of his death. He spent his entire coaching career at Summerville High School in South Carolina.
"It's a tremendous loss not only for the Summerville community, but the Lowcountry and the state of South Carolina," former Stratford High School coach Ray Stackley told The Post and Courier. "For guys like me, who coached against him for a lot of years, we became fierce competitors with him, but also tremendous friends. He and I have had a special friendship for a long, long time. It's going to be hard to imagine the Lowcountry and Summerville football without John McKissick."
McKissick started his career in 1952 and he turned Summerville into one of the top high school programs in the country. During his six decades at Summerville, McKissick led his teams to 621 wins and 10 state titles. His first state title came in 1955 and his last came in 1998. He won state championships in every decade except for the 2000s and 2010s and he retired in 2014. In 2003, McKissick became the first coach to reach 500 victories. In 2012 he reached 600 wins and finished his career with only 155 losses and 13 ties.
"He was an inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to play for him," USC Gamecocks Tight End and Summerville High School alum Chandler Ferrell said per live5news.com. "He did a lot for me and for Summerville High School and we are gonna miss him like crazy."
Because of what he accomplished on the field, McKissick was named National High School Coach of the Year three times. He's also a member of the South Carolina Hall of Fame and the National High School Hall of Fame.
“A lot of people have been asking about my Grandma and how she’s doing, McKissick's grandson Joe Call said in a statement on Thursday. "Please let everyone know she is doing well and is very thankful for the prayers and condolences from everyone who has reached out. She has been surrounded by her family today and she even insisted on having our Thanksgiving Day dinner together.”
Funeral services were held on Monday at Bethany United Methodist Church.