Mark Blevins’ full retirement statement

Mark Blevins’ full statement regarding his retirement as a teacher and the boys basketball coach at Bearden:

I am ending both my basketball and teaching careers at Bearden.  I am closing this chapter of my life.  B.A. and I are officers in our church and will be looking to take a more active role.  We’ll see what lies ahead.  I want to thank all my great players (most of whom are my best friends), the Bearden community, the student bodies, and the wonderful ever changing faculties we have had through the last two decades for making it a memorable and exciting journey.  From the days of Dearstone, M. Clemmons, Karnes and company to the Barnes, Stanley, D. Clemmons to the Andreasen, Strange, T. McClunie era to the Oliver, Hampton era to the Cox, M. McClunie, Scruggs era to the Dickenson, T. White, Garner, Ware era to the Simpson, Jenkins, Craig era to the greatest era of T. Greene, R. White, D. Fair, Peake, Winton, Weida  to the Standifer, S. Greene, B. Smith era to the Graham, Campbell era to the current Duncan, Q. Fair era our teams are connected as Bulldogs.  We are committed by loyalty and love.  We are an elite membership; it is not for everybody.  We have our own greeting and we never finish our conversation without expressing the love we have for one another.  That’s been the essence of Bearden basketball.

We have been fortunate to have worked right here in Knoxville with the greatest official association and leadership on this planet led by Kenny Coulter.  While in the Tri Cities, I had the opportunity to be groomed as a young coach by the greatest basketball official to ever walk the face of the earth, Ralph Stout.

I’m a coach that tries to instill toughness, discipline, loyalty, grit, and accountability in all my players.  I was taught long ago by a little crippled lady who raised two sons by herself with no car and no TV while working minimum wage her whole life to always work harder than anybody else.  My mom was my hero.

BHS’s last 22 seasons were the winningest AAA team in Tennessee (588 – 156).  The 2015 teamfinished 28-3 and was ranked first in the state for multiple weeks.  Coach Blevins’ overall high school and collegiate record stands at  840 – 309  including winning records against all KIL teams, all District 4 former and current teams and a 27-0 record versus Tennessee privateschools.  All-time winningest coach in basketball and softball at Bearden High School.  All-timewinningest coach at Bluefield College including a 4-2 record vs some of Carson Newman’s greatest teams.