McCreary returns to his HCHS football roots

Published 8:09 pm Monday, May 3, 2021

Harlan County native Amos McCreary has been selected as the new coach of the Harlan County Black Bear football program.

One of the most successful coaches in the Atlanta area and in the state of Georgia, McCreary produced multiple NCAA Division I football players in his outstanding career.

McCreary was selected by the HCHS school administration and confirmed with the site base decision making council this evening. He is scheduled to meet with the Black Bear players on Tuesday.

McCreary currently serves as an assistant coach under Dudley Hilton at Bell County. After retiring in Georgia, he led the Bell County program for one season prior to Hilton’s return.

McCreary previously coached at Whitewater High School in Fayetteville and at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Georgia.

By the time he retired in Georgia, more than 100 of his athletes had signed to play college football.

The Fayette County News reported in an article announced his retirement that “Amos McCreary is the definition of a good Southern football coach. He’s got the drawl that lets you know he grew up in Harlan, Kentucky... He figured out early on back in Kentucky what his future held.”

At Whitewater, he built a program from scratch and the program was ranked among the top 50 in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper.

He only had three losing seasons during his playing and coaching career.

Sportswriter Christopher Dunn of the Fayette County News wrote that McCreary’s teams “always played a physical, hard-nosed brand of football. Whitewater became an annual playoff participant with star running backs and punishing linemen.”

“Amos has really never known losing on a football field,” wrote Dunn in the 2015 article on McCreary’s retirement in Georgia. “In his whole career, from when he starting playing at 6 years old through the end of this season, he’s only seen three losing seasons.”

McCreary was quoted as saying “That spans over 50 years. When you’ve only had three losing seasons, you’ve had a silver spoon in your mouth because it could very easily have gone the other way several times. It’s just been a great career.”

After graduating from Evarts High School in 1974 where he excelled on the gridiron, he played college ball on scholarship at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama, where he was a running back and linebacker.

Numerous interviews with McCreary about his retirement revealed he really wanted to return to the mountains of Eastern Kentucky to be near his family.

In an interview with the Atlanta newspaper, McCreary listed the late Charles “Charlie” Hunter as being the most influential person in his coaching career.

“He taught me to keep going even though the road may have a few bumps. One of his favorite sayings: ‘Life is like a beautiful bird until it poops on you, and then you must wipe it off and keep on going.’”