The Haywood County Board of Education has approved Tommy Pursley as its new head football coach at Tuscola High School. Travis Collins, principal of

Tuscola High School, introduced Pursley to this morning at 9 a.m.


Pursley, an Appalachian State University graduate, where he played defensive back for the Mountaineers, is among the top ten winningest active coaches in the state of North Carolina. Pursley was an assistant coach at Watauga during its Class 3A championship season in 1978.


He left WHS to become a graduate assistant at App State. He was also football coach and athletic director at South Caldwell from 1984-87. Pursley is a ten time Coach of the Year; he's won two regional championships; three sectional championships; six district championships and he's led his teams to the state finals twice.


Pursley was the defensive coordinator at Brevard College (D-II) last fall. Before that, he spent 20 years (1993-2012) at Northeast Guilford and led that team to 180 wins. He has averaged nine wins a year the last 20 years, he's led his teams to the state playoffs 20 consecutive times, and he's won 226 games in his career.


Pursley inherits a team that went 8-4 last season and lost to Piedmont in the opening-round state playoffs. He replaces Brandon Allen, who left to become the new football coach at Freedom on June 30.


Coach Howard "Tommy" Pursley:


2013 Defensive Coordinator Brevard College

1993-2012 Head Football Coach Northeast Guilford High School, Mcleansville, NC

Averaged 9 wins a year for 20 years

20 consecutive years in the playoffs

3rd longest winning streak in N.C.

Won 7 Conference Championships

6 District Championships

3 Sectional Championships

2 Regional Championships

2 State Championship Game appearances

Finished 1st or 2nd in the conference 16 of 20 years

1997 Eastern North Carolina Champions

1997 AAA State Championship Game

2008 State Semi-Finals

Won 10+ games 7 seasons

Won 180 games at Northeast Guilford

Won 226 games as a Head Coach

Was among the top 10 most wins among active coaches

10 Coach of the Year Awards

2003 Shrine Bowl Defensive Coordinator (N.C. defeated S.C.)

2000 East-West All Star Game Defensive Coordinator for the West (West defeated the East)

2000-2005 North Carolina Football Coaches Association Board of Directors

2007-Present National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame Board Member

Speaker at a number of clinics including:

Wake Forest

East Carolina

Appalachian State

Catawba College

1987-1993 Head Football Coach & Athletic Director Trinity High School, Trinity, N.C.

1984-87 Head Football Coach & Athletic Director South Caldwell High School, Hudson, N.C.1979-1980

Graduate Assistant Football Coach Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C.

1978-1979 Assistant Football Coach Watauga High School, Boone, N.C. - State Champions 1978

1976-1978 Assistant Football Coach Carroll County High School, Hillsville, VA

Playing experience Defensive Back, Appalachian State University



Photo Courtesy: Tommy Pursley, PHOTO SUBMITTED