Stocstill steps down as Bulldog grid coach
After leading Cornersville High School's football team the last nine years, Ray Stocstill recently decided to hand over the reins of the program to someone else and resigned as the Bulldogs' football coach.
Stocstill sighted the desire to watch his son Joe Stocstill play football at the University of Tennessee as the main reason for stepping down, but will still be a part of the school's athletic program by coaching the Cornersville Middle School team this coming Fall. Joe Stocstill is currently a freshman walk-on at UT, but still has four years of eligibility left after redshirting this past season.
"I want to be able to see Joe play so I'm going to coach the middle school. Their games are on Thursday night so that will give me time to go up and see him play on Saturday," said Ray Stocstill. "If he gets playing time this season, I want to be there. You just have so many responsibilities as a high school coach that I wouldn't be able to do that."
While he is stepping away from the high school game, Ray Stocstill is looking forward to coaching the middle school team and developing the upcoming talent for his successor.
"I still enjoy coaching and I'm going to do what I can to help through the middle school program. We have 36 kids signed up already for next season so I'm excited about that," said Stocstill.
Although he accrued a modest 27-66 record in his second stint as Cornersville's coach, Ray Stocstill guided the Bulldogs to a bowl berth in 2007 before leading CHS to back-to-back Class A playoff berths in 2009 and 2010 after inheriting a program that had won only two games in the three previous seasons prior to his arrival.
Ray Stocstill also coached at Cornersville from 1988-94 and finished with a 29-43 record during that span. After notching just three wins in his first three years at CHS, Stocstill posted a 26-16 record over his next four seasons with the Bulldogs that was highlighted by an 8-3 mark and playoff berth in 1994. Cornersville won the 1993 Walking Horse Bowl as well under Stocstill's guidance while tallying a 7-4 record that season.
"I feel like the changes that have taken place here have been good. Our facilities have improved and we've taken a step forward," said Ray Stocstill. "We didn't achieve everything we wanted to, but I'm proud of the progress that we made because a lot of people put in a lot of hard work."
CHS principal Bob Edens also credited Stocstill for improving the program and believes he will still be an asset to the school and athletic department as the middle school coach.
"I think Ray's best trait is that he gets along with people and has great leadership skills. He has a great love for his players and cares about them. He put a competitive team on the field every year and I think his teams were well coached," said Edens. "He also taught his players a lot of life skills too. He's staying here as a teacher and anytime the athletic department needs help he'll be around to help in any way possible."
Hopefully Stocstill's successor will be able to build on the progress that he has made over the last nine years.