Longest-tenured coach in Metro schools announces retirement

Monday, April 23, 2012 at 5:22pm

Glenn Falls, the longest-tenured head coach in Nashville, has decided to step down at Glencliff High.

Falls, 73, has been girls basketball and volleyball coach at Glencliff since 1979. His basketball teams compiled a 460-297 record with two state tourney appearances.

He had a 1,180-186 record in volleyball where he guided the school to that sport’s one state title in 1986 when the Colts were 40-2. His ’83 state runner-up team went 53-2.

“It came to a point where the time seemed right [to retire],” Falls said. “I’ll miss coaching, but I had been farming for a long time and I don’t miss that.”

After his start as Burton Elementary football coach in 1963, Falls coached at Calvert junior high for one year, West End for two, Apollo for four and Cameron for six before he began his high school head coaching at Glencliff in 1979 at age 39.

His 1990 basketball team reached the Class AAA state finals, the school’s only trip to a girls final, and he also took his 1995 team to the state semis. He also served as assistant football coach early on and also served briefly as boys basketball coach.

His teams were a mark of consistency in the 1990s and early 2000s.

At one point, Glencliff won 11 straight district basketball championships (along with four region titles). The Colts won 19 straight district volleyball championships, a streak finally snapped in 2007 by Hunters Lane and also won 25 titles in 28 years.

“Wherever I’ve been, at Burton, Calvert, West End, Appollo, Cameron, we won at least one football championship while I was there,” he said.

For several years, Falls served as the school’s head coach in volleyball, girls basketball, then tennis in the spring.

He was also was head coach in three East-West all-star volleyball games and another high school all-star game in basketball.

Falls is a graduate of old Joelton High and received his undergraduate degree at Tennessee and his doctorate at Tennessee Tech.

“I will miss the administrators, the teachers, the other coaches and especially the players who I really enjoyed my association with,” he said. “What’s fun is that I’ve coached several girls, then their daughters who played for me later on.”

Falls will remain as lead instructor of wellness and health at Metro Nashville Public Schools, serving with athletic director Roosevelt Sanders.