Lombe S. Honaker
Lombe S. Honaker
Sport(s): Special,Head Coach, Athletic Director
Year of Graduation: 1921-1922
Year Inducted: 1975

The Lombe Honaker era (1921-1959) was highlighted by the greatest coach in MC history. Coach Honaker pioneered the emphasis for new facilities to entice the best recruits in East Tennessee. The new baseball coach, football coach, basketball coach, and athletic director oversaw the development of several outdoor facilities and the Alumni Gymnasium.

The success of Coach Honaker’s teams developed a great feeling of pride and the Scots faithful loved to see their team’s play.

This school spirit lives on today as the Alma Mater. Developed on May 24,1941, it is displayed at the end of every Scots home football victory. The College Fight song “On Highlanders” written in 1947 is shouted on top of victory hill and exclaimed by the winning football team. The Cooper Crazies continue the Scots’ Spirit from football to basketball.

During his tenure, Coach Honaker directed 38 seasons of football, basketball, and baseball and amassed a phenomenal 924 wins-604 losses and-31 ties. He produced 15 All-American football performers and 23 baseball players that went on to play in the pros.
Coach Honaker was inducted into the Tennessee Sports hall of Fame in 1969. His induction presentation read: It isn’t easy to become recognized nationally as a college football coach at a school with some 300 students. Furthermore, it doesn’t become any easier when you have no assistant coaches, and you happen to also be the only coach available for basketball and baseball. But Lombe Honaker did just that at little Maryville College in East Tennessee. He coached three sports from 1921 through 1949, when he “retired” to the post of athletic director. During his coaching years, Honaker compiled an impressive record of 924-604-31 while not confining his schedules, particularly in football, to small schools. Among Maryville’s opponents during his tenure were such titans as Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Georgia Tech, and Mississippi. To the everlasting advantage of the young men who played under Honaker, there was something in which the coach was even more interested than he was in winning clean play. It was as much for his philosophy as for his record that Honaker received many area and national honors during his later years at Maryville, including a 1956 “Citation of Honor” from the Football Writers’ Association of America. The recognition that pleased Lombe Honaker most, and which said most about the man as well as the coach, came in 1951 when former players honored him with a dinner and lionized him for a statement they all remembered clearly: “You play to win, but you play the game fair.” Lombe Honaker has gone, but his spirit and influence will always remain.