Former Letcher County Central High School football coach Hillard Howard was recently profiled in The Villages Daily Sun, a daily newspaper in Lake County, Fla., where Howard now lives.
Howard had a record of 244 wins, 69 losses and one tie game in his 25 years as a high school football coach, including state titles in 1987, 1988 and 1989 when he coached at Pikeville High School
The article quotes Kevin Garris, Pikeville High School athlete director, who says, “If you want a football coaching legend, you’ve got one of the best in Hillard. In fact, legend is a title that was made for him.”
Howard grew up in Letcher County, the son of a coal miner, with 13 brothers and sisters. He says sports are what kept him from following his father underground.
“I was a pretty good boxer,” he told the Daily Sun. “I won the state Golden Gloves championships in the late ‘60s and even went to the national Golden Gloves championship in 1970.”
After graduating from Pikeville College and receiving a post-graduate degree from Morehead State University, he took his first head coaching job in 1972.
Howard returned to Letcher County to coach three years at LCCHS, finishing his career with a record of 10-1, 10-2 and 11- 3. He and his wife, Marsha, moved to Florida after his retirement from coaching.