By Joshua Price/Sports Editor
Since the late 1970’s, Brian Mintz has become a household name for any football fan in Etowah County.
The Southside native is considered one of the top players to ever don the crimson colors and is statistically one of the most successful coaches in the county over the past three decades.
Mintz stepped down from his position as head football coach of Ragland High School earlier this week after his most successful campaign in 22 years of coaching, retiring from the game that has shaped his career and his life.
Mintz first appeared as a ninth grader at Southside High School in the fall of 1977 and was immediately positioned as the Panther’s starting quarterback.
Mintz started for four years at quarterback, leading Southside to its first football playoff berth as a junior in 1979.
During Mintz’s senior football season at Southside, the All-State senior play-caller led the Panthers to arguably its greatest season in school history, posting a 12-1 record in 1980.
Mintz signed a football scholarship with Jacksonville State and served as the Gamecocks’ quarterback for three seasons.
During the 1980’s, Mintz served as an assistant football coach at Scotsboro High School and also at Emma Sansom High School under Etowah County Hall of Famer Fred “Buster” Gross.
Mintz took his first head coaching position at Ragland in the fall of 1988. During his first three seasons with the Purple Devils, Mintz posted a 15-18 record, including an 8-4 campaign in 1989.
In the fall of 1991, Mintz was named head coach at Glencoe. Under Mintz, the Yellow Jackets tallied a 36-33 record in six seasons, including a 9-5 record in 1993 and a 9-3 record in 1995.
Mintz returned to his alma mater in 1997. His four years as head coach of Southside were not as successful as his four seasons as the Panthers’ starting quarterback as Southside accumulated a 13-27 record.
Mintz returned as head coach at Ragland in 2004 and immediately impacted the program, posting a 9-3 record in his “comeback” season. From 2004 to 2011, Mintz’s Purple Devils added 65 wins to the mentor’s record, including 13 in 2011.
Mintz amassed a 129-109 record during his career, including a 15-13 playoff record.
Mintz coached many good football teams during his career, but none matched the power and skill of his final gridiron squad.
Mintz commandeered Ragland to a 13-1 record in 2011, the coach’s only undefeated regular season team. Mintz’s final season was highlighted by a pair of victories over the Purple Devils’ ranked nemesis Collinsville. Ragland was the only team to defeat the Panthers in 2011, 12-7 in Week 10 and 28-7 in third round action.
Mintz tapped assistant coach and West End alumni Jonathan Nix as his replacement.