H. Kirk Grantham

1970 - 1979 Inductees
Year Honored:
Union University, Tennessee Junior College, University of Tennessee at Martin


For H. Kirk Grantham it wasn’t “location, location, location.” It was “fundamentals, fundamentals, fundamentals.” After his World War I service, Grantham realized his abilities as a player at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, where he starred in football, basketball, and baseball. After graduating from Union with an A.B degree, he began coaching successfully at Millington High School, then moved to Newbern High School, where he taught history and biology, as well as coached football, basketball, and baseball. It was here he began his reputation for using small squads of lightweight, largely inexperienced players, and by coaching them in the fundamentals, he led them to great success. In 1925 this pattern propelled him to Hall-Moody Junior College in Martin. By 1927 Hall-Moody, along with Union University, had become the University of Tennessee Junior College. Coach Grantham was the only Hall-Moody faculty member who made the transition. He coached there, 1928-1937, until he entered the Pepsi-Cola bottling business in Mississippi. Grantham’s dynamic personality and shrewd assessment of potential athletes helped him recruit players from small high schools, many of which did not even have a football team. Through persistent drilling in the fundamentals, he transformed those young men into outstanding football, basketball, and baseball players.

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