Big day for former LaGrange coach
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Some of the titans of high-school coaching in Georgia will share the spotlight on Saturday.
Six men, including former LaGrange High football coach Steve Pardue, are part of this year’s Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame class, and they will be recognized during a ceremony in Dalton on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Pardue is part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class, but last year’s ceremony was canceled because of concerns over COVID-19.
Joining Pardue as members of the Hall of Fame class are Max Bass, A.C. McCullers,
Cecil Barber, Cecil Flowe and Bill Thorn.
Pardue was LaGrange’s head coach from 1994 to 2010, and he amassed a 161-45 record while winning three state championships and eight region titles.
After leaving LaGrange High Pardue, coached at the University of Kentucky for three seasons before returning to Georgia to lead the football program at East Coweta, and he spent one year as the head coach at LaGrange College.
Pardue is appreciative of everyone who has helped him reach this point, including the dozens of coaches he has worked with over the years.
Some of those coaches will be there on Saturday, along with Pardue’s family members, to share in the celebration.
“There are so many people,” Pardue said. “I could go on and on. I hate to mention names, because there are so many of them.”
By the time Pardue was finished with coaching, he’d compiled a 185-84 record in high school, and his LaGrange teams in the 2000s went 114-17 and won state titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
Pardue is grateful that he was able to do what he loves at a school that came to mean so much to him.
“I truly love LaGrange High School. I was kind of love at first sight,” said Pardue, who began teaching and coaching at the school in 1991.
“I didn’t feel like I ever really worked here. I enjoyed getting up. I couldn’t wait to get to the office. It was a great time in my life.”
Pardue is part of a highly accomplished Hall of Fame class.
Max Bass won 216 years during his time leading the Newnan High program, and his teams won eight region titles and finished second in the state once.
His final season at Newnan was 1994, which was Pardue’s first year as LaGrange’s head coach.
The two teams played that year, and LaGrange won 17-7.
Another member of the class of 2020 is Cecil Flowe, who was a successful head coach in football and baseball.
At Clinch County, he led the baseball program to six state championships, and he guided the football team to a state championship in 2002.
Bill Thorn coached a variety of sports for more than 50 years, and in football he had a 186-87-6 record with three state championships.
Cecil Flowe helped create a football powerhouse at Parkview High, and he had a 197-67 record with four state titles, including three in a ro