Winningest Gridiron Coach At WV High School Will Retire
If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
WATER VALLEY – The longest-serving and winningest football coach in Water Valley High School history will retire at the end of the school year. Brad Embry has coached the Blue Devils for 15 years, racking up impressive seasons including a state championship during his tenure.
With a 117-68 record, Embry’s teams earned the most wins by a coach at Water Valley High School since the football program started in 1913. Embry is the only coach to win 100 or more games at Water Valley High School and to win 10 or more games for three consecutive seasons. Embry’s 2018 team won the Class 3A state title with a 14-2 record, a season that also earned him recognition from the Mississippi Association of Coaches as the Coach of the Year for all classifications.
“He is one of the hardest-working football coaches I have worked with during my career,” Water Valley School District Superintendent Jerry Williams reported. “Coach Embry is very honorable and very dedicated at what he does.”
Williams also cited Embry’s experience in the classroom and his dedication as the school’s athletic director.
“He is also a great classroom teacher, he does a wonderful job in the classroom,” Williams noted. “He has dedicated a lot of years to students and student athletes.”
Embry came to Water Valley High School as head coach in 2008 after spending eight years at Tupelo, where he was assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. Embry also coached at Madison Central – a total tally of 25 seasons.
“I have had a great time, I have enjoyed it,” Embry told the Herald. “I think I did the best I could.”
Embry’s focus has been to instill a strong work ethic in his players year after year and to encourage them to do things the right way – on and off the field.
“You like to think that you helped kids, and not just to win ballgames,” Embry said. He summarized his time as a coach as working hard every day, trying to get the best out of a program.
“But it is only so long you can do that, it takes a toll. It is common in coaching,” Embry explained about his decision to retire. And admittedly when he came to Water Valley, Embry did not anticipate staying 15 years.
“The community support and all the great people made it possible,” he explained.
“To coach 15 years at one school is an accomplishment. This is a great place to live, a great place to work. Things change, it is time for me to retire and someone else take control. I will always think about all the players I was privileged to coach. All the great coaches I have worked with and all the friendships we made. A lot of good things went on.”
Embry may not be on the field during the next season, but he will be in the stands each Friday night watching his son play. Will Embry is a senior on the Blue Devil team.
“It will be different, but I am looking forward to just being a dad and supporting in other ways,” Embry shared.
And for the next chapter in life, Embry said he is trusting God to lead him.
“I really don’t know, but I’m sure something good will happen,” he shared. “I plan to look for something in this area.”
Williams reported the head coach position was posted on the school’s website and the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s website on January 18.
“It didn’t take long for word to get out, we already have a pretty large pool of applicants,” the superintendent noted. “That is a testament to Water Valley and the program Embry is leaving.”
Williams did not speculate on a timeline for the new hire.
“However long it takes to find the best candidate we can find. We want to hire a coach who will keep the program at a high level like it has been for many years. But we are going to miss Coach Embry, and it will hurt having to move on without him,” Williams added.