Edens elected to TSSAA Hall of Fame
By Anthony S. Puca
Bob Edens, head football coach at Marshall County High School for 22 seasons and principal at Cornersville High School from 2001 until last spring, will become the third Marshall Countian inducted into the Tennessee Scholastic Sports Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
He formally accepts the honor on April 18 at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Murfreesboro.
Edens joins Marshall County legends Fred Shelton (1995) and Roy Dukes (2005) in the TSSAA Hall of Fame.
Edens enters in the coaching category, while Shelton and Dukes were inducted as administrators.
"I'm very happy, but when you start saying how happy you are, you have to include a lot of people; you can never do anything by yourself," said Edens.
"There are so many people that help you get there. I'm proud of it for my family and thank my family for allowing me do this and allowing me to enjoy it, and if I didn't, I wouldn't have stayed in it for so long."
Edens is a 1964 graduate of Moore County High School in Lynchburg and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (1969) and a Master's Degree in Education with Administration and Supervision (1976) from Middle Tennessee State University.
Edens, who posted a 167-79 coaching record with Marshall County, guided the Tigers to an undefeated 14-0 season and a Class AA state championship in 1984.
"It was a magical season for us because the two years before we had gone undefeated in the regular season and the expectations from the fans were pretty high, so we felt if we didn't have a lot injuries we would have a pretty good football team," said Edens.
"Our kids that year, we had great leadership on the team and most of them were juniors, we had a few seniors and we blended in well."
Edens took over the Tiger football program in 1977, eventually winning three region titles and 10 district championships, while making 15 playoff appearances and winning all four Walking Horse Bowl games in Lewisburg in which the Tigers participated.
From 1982 to 1986 the Tigers dominated their opponents with a 46-0 regular-season record.
In 2001, the field house at Preston Hopkins Field in Lewisburg was dedicated in Edens' honor and named after him.
"All the athletes that came out to try out to be the best football players they can be, you have to admire those kids for all they went through in practice and the amount of time they put in," said Edens.
Retired since June, Edens served as an educator for 45 years and 32 years as an athletic coach, beginning as the girls' basketball coach at Loretto High School in 1969.
A 10-time district coach of the year, Edens also won the prestigious A.F. Bridges Award from the TSSAA in 2008-2009.
"What is a success? A success is doing something you like to do," said Edens.
"All kids are not meant for college, so I have told all of them, no matter what you do, if you're going to college to become a lawyer, I'm proud of you, if you become a ditch digger, be the best ditch digger you ever were, get involved in the community and then marry and have some kids. That's a success."