Action Catalyst Blog

Defeated to Undefeated: How to Turn a Team Around with Coach Porter – Episode 223 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Coach Porter won his 250th career game in 2015 and now ranks as the winningest active head coach in Middle Tennessee. He was third on the list in 2016, but Sam Harp of Lebanon (332 wins) and Craig Clayton of Hillsboro (284) both resigned in 2016 to return to their native state of Kentucky to coach. All of Coach Porter’s wins, however, have come in-state at one school.

Porter joined former Trousdale County head coach Clint Satterfield as the Class of 2016 inductees into the Tennessee Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Dec. 3.

He has the most wins in any sport in White House High School history and the school’s longest-tenured coach. On the current staff, he coaches linebackers as a primary position. He has two former players on full-time staff: offensive coordinator Ryan Hamilton and assistant coach Kevin Jackson. His former player and coach Chad Broadrick is now the head coach at East Robertson, and the Blue Devils will play the Indians in week one of the 2017 and 2018 season. It is the first time Coach Porter will be on the opposite sideline of a head coach who is a former player.

In 1997, he led the Blue Devils to the Class 3-A state championship, the first athletic state championship in WHHS history, with a 15-0 season and 30-20 victory over Memphis Melrose. In 1997-98, he coached the team to a school record 21 straight wins. The 2012 and 2013 Blue Devils were the District 9-AA champions and made five consecutive appearances in the Class 4-A quarterfinals from 2010-2014, plus seven of the last nine years into the third round the postseason.

He lives in White House with his wife of 29 years, Elizabeth. They have two daughters, Haley (Brad Edwards) and Lacey. Porter obtained a B.S. in Health Education from Middle Tennessee State University and a Masters from MTSU, with a plus-30 from MTSU and TSU in administration and supervision. He played high school football at Gallatin High School and college baseball at Volunteer State.

His first year at White House was as an assistant in 1983 with head coach Robert Lassiter, and served for two seasons under Bill Locke before taking the head coach position in 1987. He also coached high school baseball at WHHS for four years.

As an assistant coach in the mid-1980s, Coach Porter was a part of a close loss to Madison High School when player Joe Pryor used the phrase “Blue Devil Pride” for the first time. B.D.P. is now a staple of the program at White House in the local school and community.

As a head football coach, he is a multi-year award winner as the district and region coach of the year, and in 2013 was a head coach for the TACA East vs. West All-Star Football Classic.

Show Highlights:

It is more important how we are going to respond than how we are perceived. – Coach Porter

It’s about the whole team, not just the leader. – Coach Porter

We take it one game at a time and one practice at a time. – Coach Porter

Do what is right and trust. – Coach Porter

Hang on and stick to what it is you believe in. – Coach Porter

The number one thing you must have in a team is loyalty. – Coach Porter

You need people working side by side with the same values and vision. – Coach Porter

I don’t have to have my way, I just want a chance to have my say. – Coach Porter

It is never the destination point, it is always about the journey. – Coach Porter

When a challenge comes your way, that is an opportunity to show your character. – Coach Porter

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

One Response

  1. Rich Maurer says:

    Rory, this is my FAVORITE podcast that you have ever done! I am the AD and board chair of a small sports club and I just sent this link to all of the coaches and our board members. Thank you so much!

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