Early County News

Former ECHS principal and coach passes away

David Rivenbark

David Rivenbark

Coach David Rivenbark arrived at Early County High School as a health and physical teacher in 1967 having already served in that capacity at his alma mater, Houston County High School, in Columbia. He remained at Early County until his retirement.

As many of his former students and athletes will attest, Coach Rivenbark was something of a celebrity. As a football player at the University of Louisville, he played offensive end and had the distinction of catching passes thrown by quarterback Johnny Unitas.

Rivenbark often joked that it was because of him that Unitas became such a successful quarterback but in the same breath he would laughingly say that he couldn’t remember if he ever caught a single pass in college. Apparently, he caught enough passes in his career to be voted into the University of Louisville Athletics Hall of Fame in 1998.

At Early County High School, he began his career as an assistant football coach under former head coach Ray Knight. Early on, he also coached the track team. As golf coach, he reached the ultimate goal. His 1970 golf team at ECHS won the Class A State Championship.

From the gridiron to the classroom, Rivenbark became assistant principal at Early County Middle School and was named Principal at Early County High School in 1983. Known for his athletic prowess as a young man, continued a vigorous lifestyle into his 70s.

Coach David Lee Rivenbark left his mark at Early County and made an impression on the hundreds of young men and women he taught and coached.

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