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FORMER PRATTVILLE FOOTBALL COACH DIES

November 24, 2012
By Jimmy White of Prattville High School



TED MISSILDINE COACHED LIONS IN 1977 & 1978 SEASON; ALSO COACHED AUTAUGAVILLE FOUR YEARS

 

 

Ted Davis Missildine former head football coach and athletic director of Prattville High School died November 12, 2012.  Missildine was 74 years old and coached Prattville High School for two seasons, 1977 and 1978.

He was the first coach of Prattville High School after the school changed its name from Autauga County High School to Prattville High School in the fall of 1977.

The new school opened its doors at its current location on Upper Kingston Road in late August of 1977.  The old school had been located in downtown Prattville since its original opening during the the fall of 1909.

Missildine was the 25th coach of the football program.  He was a native of Billingsley; during his high school career he was an outstanding player for the Bears playing for Coach James Jones and Coach Cary Earl Kelly.

His exploits on the gridiron earned Missildine an athletic scholarship to then Troy State University.  He earned four letters for the Red Wave and graduated during the spring of 1959 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education with minors in History and social studies.

He began a long and successful high school coaching career that fall at Talladega High School as an assistant coach.

He left Alabama to hone his coaching skills in and around the Atlanta Metro area.  His first stop was at South Cobb High in Austell as the defensive coordinator.  Missildine stayed at South Cobb until the fall of 1969.

He took the head coaching and athletic director position at Briarwood High School in East Point, a school that had little success prior to Missildine taking the position.

The Buccaneers went 0-10 in 1968.  With Missildine as the head coach the program immediately began to win and became a contender.  His final three seasons at Briarwood (1972-1974) the Buccaneers went to the state playoffs.

In 1975 Missildine got the call to take over another dismal program.  This challenge came at nearby Fayette County High School in Fayetteville.  The Tigers had had only three seasons above the .500 mark in the past 13 years when he took the coaching position.

In his second year at Fayetteville the Tigers went 8-1-1 and lost to Forest Park’s Woodward Academy 18-14 in the first round of the state playoffs.  Woodward Academy went on to win the Georgia state championship

Missildine’s record at Fayette County was 12-7-1, and his record at Briarwood was 48-18-2.

Briarwood High School was closed in 1982 and combined with Woodland High and Forest Park High to become Tri-County High School.

During his career as head coach in the Atlanta area Missildine  won many honors incluidng being named coach of the week by the Atlanta Touchdown Club on numerous occassions.   He also was named coach of the year in Atlanta once by the Toucxhdown Club and the Atlanta Journal-Constitutiion.

With a desire to return to his native Alabama Autauga County Superintend of Education Ed Riddle lured Missildine to Prattville following the 1976 season.

Missildine brought an outstanding group of assistant coaches to Prattville High School.  Steve McGill came as the offensive  line coach.  McGill was a Little All-American at Livingston State College when the Lions won the National Championship; Joe Joyner from Florida State University was his defensive back coach, and Mike DuBose former University of Alabama star linebacker became Prattville’s defensive coordinator.

After Missildine left Prattville DuBose became the head coach of Prattville in the fall of 1979.

Missildine came home to his native Autauga County to take over at Prattville High under difficult circumstances.  The Lions had recently been re-classified from 3A to 4A, and was one of the smallest 4A schools.

Missildine replaced Jim Cofield, who had a miserable 10-20 record for his three seasons.

The school, itself, was moved from the old location in downtown Prattville to a sparkling new school on Upper Kingston Road.  However there were no faculties at the school for sports. There was no baseball field and no softball field at the location with city parks having to be used for home games.

There was no gymnasium at the school and the old gym at the old high school was used for home games. The school, now located in the county, had to use the old football field located in Pratt Park.

His first season was a difficult one, winning only one game.  The following season, 1978, saw Missildine turn the program around winning seven games.  One of the wins came over a highly regarded and talented Enterprise High School team in the ninth game of the season.

Trailing 12-0 with five minutes left in the game, Prattville scored twice in the final minutes to win 13-12 when Scott Clemons kicked the winning extra point with 30 seconds left in the game.

The defeat of the Wildcats, coached by legendary coach Bill Bacon, knocked Enterprise out of the class 4A playoffs.

Prattville scored  the first touchdwon with two minutes and 31 seconds left after a 70-yard drive set up by a fumble recovery at the Lions 30 by Billy Walker. Leon Williams scored on a 30-yard run trimming Enterprise's lead to 12-6.

The winning touchdown came after Prattville held Enterprise on a fourth and one at the Wildcat 32 forcing a punt.  The punt was shanked and traveled only 29 yards.  Taking over at their 35, Prattville picked up four yards on first down, but two incomplete passes left the Lions facing a fourth and six at their 39.

Prattville lined up to punt the ball, but no one expected a punt.  Missildine pulled an old, old play out of his playbook to win the game.

There was 48 seconds left to play. The ball was snapped to running back Jim Hendrix, who faked a handoff to Greg Stoudenmire and kept the ball.  Stoudenmire ran to the right side of the field as if he had the ball, and Enterprise fell for the fake with several players piling on Stoudenmire.

Hendrix tucked the ball under his arm and raced down the left side of the field 61yards to score with 37-seconds left on the clock.  Clemmons who had missed the first extra point attempt kicked the ball perfectly for a 13-12 lead with 37 seconds left to play.

Enterprise had all their timeouts left, and did run five plays before the time ran out with Enterprise at the Prattville 49.

Missildine was the toast of the town.  However on December 14 he submitted his resignation to Superintendent of Education Ed Riddle.  He gave as his reason the opportunity to go into private business.

Missildine was a motorcycle enthusiast.  He stated in his resignation letter to the Board that he had an opportunity to go into business with some associates to form a corporation in the motorcycle industry with two stores in Atlanta and would be opening a new one in Birmingham.

Missildine would manage the Birmingham store.

In his closing statement to the Prattville fans he stated, “I enjoyed my tenure in Prattville, and appreciate the support of my friends and associates, and will follow the athletes in their sport endeavors with great interest in years to come. 

“Opportunities like I now have in the private business sector rarely offer themselves to people and I feel it is too great of an opportunity for me and my family to refuse.”

Two of Missildine's players were named players of the year in Autauga County.  Billy Walker was named offensive player of the year and Jim Hendrix the defensive player.

Ray Rice, Leon Williams, Steve Shaffer, Jerry Ware, Mike Rogers, Mike Maynard, David McKee, Ed Hines, and Eddie Scott were also named to the team.

Ted Missildine loved the game of football and his love never faded away.  After spending 14 years in the private field he returned to his native home place, Billingsley, with an opportunity for one more journey down the sidelines.  He took the head coaching position at Autaugaville High School.

He spent four years with the Eagles and took the Autaugaville team to the state playoffs all four seasons.  He retired following the 1995 season.

His four Autauagville teams posted a 31-13 record.  Missildine's final team in 1995 won the class 1A Regional Five championship, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. In the final game of his career Autaugaville’s old nemesis Maplesville eliminated the Eagles, 41-14.

 

 


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