Verties Sails, Jr., a native of Tennessee, was born in Rosemark in 1942. He graduated from Woodstock High School, LeMooyne-Owen College and received his Masters in Education from Memphis State University in 1967.
Sails’ first coaching position was at Melrose High School in Memphis. While there, he compiled a record of 132-35 and led his Golden Wildcats basketball team to the Tennessee State Championship in 1974– the first for the city of Memphis. That championship team had a perfect season (35-0) and still remains the only undefeated state champion from Memphis. Sails was twice voted high school Coach of the Year while at Melrose (1970 and 1974).
After serving as an assistant coach at Memphis State University for five years, Coach Sails was named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Shelby State (now Southwest Tennessee Community College) in 1979. In his 26th season as head coach, Sails continued his winning ways and owns a record of 539-219 for a percentage of .711. He has guided his teams to eighteen West Division titles, thirteen TJCCAA State Championships, and seven Region VII Championships and National Tournament appearances.
Coach Sails is a very active member of his community and has been involved in many activities including Board of Directors for Dixie Homes Boys Club, Special Olympics, Heart Fund, Leadership Memphis, Memphis Park Board Member, and Memphis and Shelby County Sports Authority. He was also honored as one of President George Bush’s “Thousand Points of Light.” Coach Sails also hosted a sports radio show from 1976 until 1997.
Verties Sails, Jr. has been named Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year nine times. Sails was named “Sportsman of the Year” in 1999 by the Commercial Appeal. He was inducted into the TJCCAA Sports Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2012, Sails retired after 33 years as the Southwest Tennessee Community College head coach.