Swain County High School Head Football Coach Neil Blankenship is stepping down. In a statement released today, Blankenship cited wanting to spend more time with his family, as well as feeling it was time for a change.
“I am stepping down as Head Football Coach at Swain High School. This was a difficult decision, one that I certainly did not take lightly, and I want to add that it was not one that was forced on me. I have reached a point in my life where I feel like I need a change. This has been my dream job; I have been blessed to be a part of Maroon Devil Football for as long as I have. I want to thank all our assistant coaches for their passion and dedication as well as every single player who I was fortunate enough to coach over the years, as well as one of the most passionate fan bases in the state. I am blessed to be able to walk away with so many great memories and even more importantly to me so many great friendships. No matter where this next stage takes me, I will always be a Maroon Devil!”
Blankenship returned to the Maroon Devils sideline in 2021 after a year away to be with his dying father. In 9 full seasons at the helm, he finishes with an overall mark of 84-37, leaving him 3rd in all time wins at Swain behind only Hall of Famers Boyce Deitz (201) and Rod White (94). He qualified for the playoffs in all 9 seasons finishing with one Western Regional Title, 2 Western Regional Runner-ups and one State Runner-up trophy.
Blankenship will remain as the Athletic Director at Swain High School. The search for a new football coach will begin immediately.