2003 Recipient: John McKissick, Summerville (S.C.) High School

Summerville High School's John McKissick received the 2003 Power of Influence Award from AFCF president Ken Hatfield.Summerville (S.C.) High School Head Coach John McKissick was named the winner of the 2003 Power of Influence Award.

McKissick, who in 2003 became the first football coach in America to win 500 career games, was nominated for the award by the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association.

The award, which is presented jointly by the American Football Coaches Association and the American Football Coaches FoundationTM, was presented to McKissick at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner on January 6, 2004 at the AFCA Convention in Orlando.

The Power of Influence Award was created as a way for the AFCA and AFCF® to honor a deserving high school football coach for his influence on his players, school and community. It is the first award the AFCA has presented specifically to honor a high school coach.

McKissick completed his 52nd year as the head coach at Summerville High School in South Carolina in 2004. During that span he has led the school to 10 state championships and seen the school grow from one of the smallest in the state to one of the largest. His victory total is more than any high school, college or professional coach in the United States. To put McKissick's longevity into perspective, his tenure at Summerville spans the terms of 11 U.S. presidents. He not only coached his sons at Summerville but also one of his grandsons. He was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 1990.

McKissick was selected by a committee comprised of members of the AFCF Board of Directors.

The other finalists were: Frank Bottone, New Providence High School (New Providence, N.J.); Gary Culver, Vermillion High School (Vermillion, S.D.); John T. Curtis, John Curtis Christian High School (River Ridge, La.); Ken Dalton, McQueen High School (Reno, Nev.); Richard Dullaghan, Ben Davis High School (Indianapolis, Ind.); Paul Engen, Appleton North High School (Appleton, Wis.); Mike Gear, Sidney High School (Sidney, Mont.); Carlin Lynch, Dartmouth High School (Dartmouth, Mass.); Frank McClellan, Barton High School (Barton, Ark.); Chuck Mizerski, Lincoln Southeast High School (Lincoln, Neb.); G.A. Moore, Pilot Point High School (Pilot Point, Texas); John Mullinax, McMinn County High School (Athens, Tenn.); Eric Roanhaus, Clovis High School (Clovis, N.M.); Jack Schugars, Oakridge High School (Muskegon, Mich.); Matt Senffner, Providence Catholic High School (New Lenox, Ill.); Dewey Sullivan, Dayton High School (Dayton, Ore.)

The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 10,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to "maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession" and to "provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.

The AFCF was created in 2000 and provides financial support for the educational goals of the AFCA.

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“Coach George Smith is not only an influence on young people, but the influence is multiplied many times in the beliefs of the young people he helped mold into amazing human beings. George is an outstanding coach, but more importantly, he is an outstanding gentleman.” —Tina Jones, Principal of St. Thomas Aquinas High School