Family, friends and athletes honor Coach John McKissick during Celebration of Life

Dorchester County News

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – The Lowcountry bid farewell to a football phenom and a proud member of the community, former Summerville High School coach, John McKissick.

Coach McKissick is the winningest coast at any level in football. He will be missed by many whom he inspired throughout his career.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened;” that is the feeling felt by those who attended Coach McKissick’s Celebration of Life at Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville on Monday.

Dozens shared their stories of the iconic football coach outside the fellowship hall.

“When you think of Summerville, you think of Coach McKissick. I don’t know of anybody in any town, that I’m aware of, that one person really symbolizes the whole town,” said former Goose Creek Head Coach, Chuck Reedy.

Former players, family members and opposing coaches all came together to celebrate a life well-lived.

“You have the whole family, we’ve known him as granddad, dad, as husband – but to see everyone come celebrate the coach, it has really been a tremendous outpouring since his passing on Thursday,” said McKissick’s grandson and Summerville High School’s head coach, Joe Call.

The winningest coach of all time – 621 wins in football. Much more than wins and losses, though, this football coach what this man meant to Summerville and to the people who knew him best.

“Just a great man. So sorry for him and his family,” said Danny Ford, Clemson’s former head coach. “So sorry for the community because he was an icon down here and all over the state. This little place here has been outstanding in athletics forever since he’s been around. It’s not every day that someone passes away that won more football games than anyone in the United States of America. That was John McKissick.”

When asked if we’ll ever see someone like him again, former NFL player Stanford Jennings said, “I don’t think so. I think that when you have a new generation that’s out there now, someone who has put in 63 years of coaching, I doubt that you’ll see that.”

Some of the stories discussed at Monday’s Celebration of Life for Coach McKissick were remarkable. The funeral began at 2:00 p.m. and lasted for about an hour.

Fittingly, Coach John McKissick was laid to rest inside a green casket.

Watch the funeral service below:

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