Saylor named HCHS football coach

Published 11:07 am Tuesday, November 28, 2023

For more local sports content, check out our partners at Harlan County Sports.

By John Henson

Contributing Sports Writer

Jacob Saylor hopes to build on a family tradition as the new football coach at Harlan County High School.

A third-generation football coach, Saylor was named the new leader of the HCHS program on Monday, replacing Amos McCreary, who stepped down after three years on the job. The Bears fell to 1-10 in 2023, the lowest win total for any HCHS team in the 16-year history of the program.

“I have the utmost confidence that coach Saylor can build Harlan County High School’s football program to a championship level,” said Harlan County Schools Superintendent Brent Roark. “Mr. Saylor has excelled in every role that he has been in throughout our district, and I definitely feel that he is up to the task of improving our program with his work ethic and commitment to player development. The Board of Education and I are excited to watch our team’s growth under his leadership.”

Saylor played quarterback for his father, Tim, at Cawood High School in the 1990s. Saylor helped lead the 1993 Trojans to a 10-2 mark, which tied a school record for victories. Cawood claimed the final playoff win in school history that year with a 35-13 victory over Belfry before falling to Tim Couch and Leslie County 29-12 in the second round. Saylor served as an assistant coach at Cawood, Middlesboro and Harlan after finishing school.

“I want to thank the Harlan County Board of Education, Mr. Roark, Ms. (Kathy) Napier, and Mr. (Eugene) Farmer for this opportunity,” said Saylor. “I am honored to be chosen as Harlan County High School’s next head football coach. To be able to combine my love for football and my love for HC is truly humbling. My staff and I are eager to meet with the returning players and get to work this off season. “

Saylor has a long family history in coaching, beginning with his grandfather, Needham, who led Cumberland to it first playoff victory in 1963 with a win over Jenkins before falling to Fort Thomas Highlands. Needham Saylor also coached at Wallins and Loyall. Tim Saylor led Cumberland to Class A state runner-up finishes in 1982 and 1983. He later coached at Pineville and Cawood.