By: Toby Burrell
Bryson City – Swain County Schools would like to announce that effective immediately Swain High School Head Football Coach Neil Blankenship will take a temporary leave of absence from his football coaching duties. It is important for the Maroon Devil faithful to know that this comes at the request and with full knowledge of Coach Blankenship in order to allow him to spend more time with his family. Eric Stephenson will be the Interim Head Coach and Scotty McMahan will be the Interim Associate Head Coach. The door will be open for Coach Blankenship to return as Head Coach whenever he feels comfortable to do so. Coach Blankenship will continue to serve Swain High School as their Athletic Director.
Neil Blankenship has been the head football coach at Swain High School for the past 8 seasons and has compiled a 77-33 overall mark during that time. He is only the 4th football coach Swain has had in the last 42 years. His 77 wins is 3rd most all-time at Swain behind only legends Boyce Deitz (201) and Rod White (94).
Statement from Coach Blankenship – “I am appreciative to Mr Sale and our Board of Education for allowing me to take this Leave of Absence to attend to family matters, and very grateful that they are leaving the door open for me to return to coaching a sport I love in a community that I am blessed to be a part of.”