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Rick Stockstill




By Meredith White

Rick Stockstill is most notably known around Rutherford County as the head football
coach for Middle Tennessee University for the last 13 years. Football runs in the family, as his own father coached him during high school, and he carried on the tradition by coaching his son, Brent.

The family tradition is living on through Brent who is now a coach at Florida Atlantic University, and his daughter, Emily, who is working for her alma mater, the University of Alabama, in the football office.

Rick loved having his dad coach him and learned a lot, but one thing he did change was
how hard he would be on his own son. His dad would go out of his way to be harder on him, and Rick decided he wanted to just treat Brent like the rest of the team. Or, rather, he wanted to treat all the players like they are his sons.

“If you didn’t know who he was and came to a practice, you would not know he was my son.”

While Rick is not a Tennessee native, his love and passion for Murfreesboro is undeniable. He and his wife of 29 years, Sara, raised their two children here and believes that the community is what makes Murfreesboro so special.

While he grew up in Georgetown, KY, he finished out his last two years of high school at Fernandina Beach High in Florida before continuing his education and football career to Florida State University. Rick is in the Fernandina Beach High School Hall of Fame, was the Sporting News All-American and Team Captain at Florida State, and will be inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame in September.

In his 37 years of being a college football coach, Rick has spent time with the Bethune-Cookman College, University of Central Florida, Clemson University, East Carolina, the University of South Carolina, before settling in Middle Tennessee.

“It was always a goal of mine to hopefully become a head coach,” he appreciates and is honored by the opportunities he’s been given, because coaching is his passion. “I love developing young men into men! Showing them how to be a good father, a good husband, a good person and a man that is ready to take on this world”.

While he loves what he does, Rick did admit that it is a very demanding position that “require toughness, competitiveness, hard work, compassion, patience, discipline, honesty humility, teamwork, accountability, and love,” and that is just to name a few.

This has taught him that you can’t please everyone and that “a good coach wins games and a great coach saves lives. A coach will impact more people in one year than most do in a lifetime”.

His parents, Kris and Joel, taught him that you have to work for everything that you receive and that “nothing will ever take the place of hard work and having a strong work ethic and to be a person of integrity and high character”. Rick takes those values seriously and to heart through philanthropy by giving back to United Way, the Boy Scouts of America, the Boys and Girls Club, and his involvement with the teenage suicide prevention organization the Jason Foundation.

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