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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Coach Coughenour Finishes The Course

Family will receive friends Thursday from 5:30-9:00 at the Dobyns-Bennett High School Buck Van Huss Dome."Finally, we should always keep uppermost in mind that (sport), with all its glamour, glitter, thrills and chills, plus everything that makes it great, has one thing more important than all of these combined--that is, the (kid) who plays it." - Bobby Dodd, Kingsport native and legendary Georgia Tech Head Coach

Coach Coughenour was a living example of putting kids first -- OUR kids. One kid at a time, over many years, his work yielded thousands of changed lives...and those lives change more lives...and so on. What an awesome legacy!So, thanks Coach, from a gratetful community."Well done, good and faithful servant" - Matthew 25:21

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" - 2 Timothy 4:7


KINGSPORT — Thomas Francis Coughenour, aka Coach, 66, of Kingsport, passed away peacefully Monday morning at home surrounded by his family. Born in Charlotte, N.C., to Catherine and Tom Coughenour, the family moved to Kingsport in 1946. It was in his Freshman English class where he met the love of his life, Barbara Williams, whom he married in 1962. A graduate of DBHS and ETSU, he began his teaching and coaching career at Robinson Junior High, coaching football, basketball, track and established the cross-country program there. In 1973, he began teaching at Dobyns-Bennett coaching football defensive backs and was Assistant Track and Cross Country Coach where he found his passion. After his friend and mentor Dan Crowe retired, Tom became head Track/CC Coach. In addition to being named Tennessee State Cross Country Coach of the Year six times and inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2001, his Track and Cross Country State and Regional team wins are numerous. It was his great devotion to the heart and soul of his athletes, his beloved family and community that established him as a legendary citizen, friend and Coach. He is survived by wife, Barbara; children, Christina and John Taraschke of Fredericksburg, Va., Tad Coughenour and Juan Fernandez of Los Angeles, Calif., and Gearing of Ashland, Ore.; grandchildren, Adam, Hannah, Jacob and Grace Taraschke; brothers, Ralph (and Kathy) Coughenour of Daytona Beach, Fla., Larry (and Susie) Coughenour of Fayetteville, N.C.; and sisters, Cathy Harper of Yuma, Ariz., and Jeanne (and Harvey) Hoffman of Fairfield Glade, Tenn.; nieces and nephews, Jeff, Karyn, Amy, Cindy, Jamie, Chad, Amanda and John Thomas; sisters/brother-in-law Anne (and Henry) Goldman of Chuckey, Tenn., Rebecca (and Herbert) Piercy of Knoxville, Tenn., and Michael (and Gina) Williams of Knoxville, Tenn.; nieces and nephews, Wendy, Herb, Allen and Reagan. The family wishes to thank our doctors, Ken Smith, Monte Vass, Robert Funke, Ed McElroy, ICU, Wilcox 3 and Wellmont Hospice nurses. In addition we thank the community for its overwhelming outpouring of love and support. We are blessed. The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Dobyns-Bennett High School, Buck Van Huss Dome. A funeral mass will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Dominic Catholic Church with Rev. Charles Burton officiating. Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Sunday at Oak Hill Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Coach Tom Coughenour Memorial Cross Country Scholarship. For more information, email

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Kingsport is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the Eastern U.S. This city of 50,000 in a metro of 308,000, was planned by renowned American planner John Nolen in his office at Harvard Square. Located in the lush green foothills of the Tennessee Valley, it is surrounded by the Southern Highlands and mountain lakes. Kingsport is home to Marriott’s and thousands of acres of unique, natural amenities at Bays Mountain and Warriors Path Parks. The natural geography provides a temperate, well-balanced climate with four seasons and a natural shelter from extreme weather. Population growth has also been well-balanced, ensuring you will not outgrow your decision to relocate. With no personal property taxes, special assessments, or state income taxes on salaries/wages, you’ll find that Kingsport has a very low cost of living coupled with an exceptionally high quality of life (see for yourself at The regional airport (TRI) has direct flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando and St. Pete/Clearwater with easy access, parking, and virtually no security lines. The public education system was planned by Columbia University and Newsweek has repeatedly recognized the local high school as one of the best in America. Year in and year out our graduates go on to the top colleges and universities (and without costly private school tuition fees). Harvard also recognized Kingsport in 2009 with the Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiative. What are you waiting for? It’s time to leave the high costs, traffic jams, and stress behind and discover this hidden gem.