photo above: team celebrates Coach Cash's milestone victory
MOORESBORO– Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy head football coach Jerry Cash reached a rare milestone last week as his football team defeated Cherryville 49-7 to give Coach Cash his 300th career win, according to a press release from the school.
This now places him fourth in career wins among all active high school football coaches in the state of North Carolina, according to the latest numbers that the NCHSAA has.
Cash began his football coaching career as an assistant coach at Boiling Springs High School (SC) in 1967 and received his first head coaching job at Jonesville High School (SC) in 1971. Over the course of 40 seasons, he has built an impressive track record of winning in both South Carolina and North Carolina while heading up several programs including Jonesville, Riverside, Chesnee and East Rutherford.
His coaching resume includes a number of staggering accomplishments including 10 times Conference Coach of the Year, 3 times Union County Coach of the Year, 5 times Spartanburg Herald Coach of the Year, Greenville County Coach of the Year, Assistant Coach for North-South All-Star Game, Assistant Coach South Carolina Shrine Bowl Team, 11 conference championships, 28 state playoff appearances and North Carolina State Coach of the Year. In fact, Coach Cash has won a conference championship at every school he has coached.
Some believe Coach Cash’s latest work with the Gryphons is likely one of his finest coaching achievements. In its first three complete seasons of playing football in a NCHSAA conference, Thomas Jefferson compiled a 1-32 record and endured a number of one-sided losses. After four years in retirement, Coach Cash was convinced by former Thomas Jefferson athletic director Chris White, to take over the fledgling program..
Since arriving at TJCA, Cash has compiled an impressive 30-14 record. In his very first season, the Gryphons went 6-6 in the highly competitive 1A Western Highlands Conference and qualified for the state playoffs. In his second season, Cash went 8-4 including another trip to the state playoffs.
Last year, his team went 10-4, was conference co-champions of the 1A Southern Piedmont Conference and advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs, the furthest a public charter school has ever advanced. This season was supposed to be a “rebuilding year” for the Gryphons, due to the loss of many seniors but the team is currently 6-0 on the season and in the hunt for the conference championship.
Thomas Jefferson Headmaster Joe Maimone gives high praise to Cash’s leadership and work ethic. “Coach Cash continually sets a great example with his players, putting in countless hours throughout the season and more importantly, making sure they are focused on their work in the classroom.”
When asked about this milestone, Coach Cash is quick to give credit to his former players and coaches. “I’ve been very lucky to coach some great kids over the years and wouldn’t have had much success without my assistant coaches and support of the parents," he said. "I really don’t think much about the wins. It’s all about the boys and I hope I’ve had a positive impact on my players over the years."