John Wade Tucker – “Coach Tucker” to most – is known as a high school football coaching legend. After an amazing 43-year career, Tucker retired from coaching in 1997 as the winningest high school coach in the state of Tennessee. He coached for seven different schools and logged 332 wins.
A graduate of Bethel College in McKenzie, Tennessee, Tucker began his coaching career at Parsons High School in 1955. He also coached at Tiptonville (1956-58), Hohenwald (1959-63), Dickson (1964-68), Milan (1969-1993), Gibson County (1994), and Humboldt (1995-97). Tucker coached 474 football games while maintaining an overall winning percentage of .700.
While coaching 25 seasons at Milan High School (223-61-2), he won two state championships (1971, 1977), one state runner-up (1993) and 16 district-region titles. His last three years coaching at Humboldt High School, his record was 32-7 with a winning percentage of .820 while being state runner-up in 1995.
The same year he retired, Tucker was ranked by USA Today among the top five active high school coaches in America.
Tucker has received many “coach of the year” honors and has been inducted into the Jackson-Madison County Sports Hall of Fame, the TSSAA Hall of Fame, the Gibson County Sports Hall of Fame, the National Athletic Coaches Association Sports Hall of Fame and the Bethel College Sports Hall of Fame.
Coach Tucker resides in Milan with his wife, Nancy. They have four children, Dr. John Wade Tucker, Jr., Sara Morris, Mike Keaton Tucker and Rev. Paul Bryant Tucker. They enjoy nine grandchildren.