The Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America will honor Harold “Red” Roberts at a luncheon to be held at the Winchester First Cumberland Presbyterian Church on Tuesday at noon.
Roberts served as the head football coach at Franklin County High School from 1979-1999.
“Harold ‘Red’ Roberts has been a long-time community figure in Franklin County,” said Derek Maness of the MTCBSA. “He has served as a teacher, head football coach, administrator, and principal within the Franklin County School System. In all these capacities he has greatly impacted the lives of many youths."
John Stewart, chair of the event, added: “The Elk River District is excited to honor this great community leader with the Franklin County Good Scout Award. Many business and community leaders from throughout Franklin County and the surrounding areas will be attending.”
Roberts was born and raised in Brunswick, Georgia, and attended high school at Glynn County High, where he was a standout football player.
His team won the 1964 state championship in Georgia.
He was signed to a scholarship at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville where he excelled on the football team as a wide receiver.
While at APSU, Roberts set several school records, including most career receptions with 232 and most receiving yards with 2,999.
Roberts was also selected as a first team All-American in 1970 and was named to the all-OVC team in each of his four seasons.
From there, he was an assistant coach for a year and then became the head coach at Todd County High School in Elkton, Kentucky, where his record was 5-5.
After taking time off to join the Army National Guard, completing basic training at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and returning to school to complete his master’s degree, Roberts was next hired at Moore County High School, where he coached from 1974-1978 with an overall record of 40-14.
While at Moore County, he was involved in several playoff and bowl appearances and was selected as an assistant for the Tennessee All-Star Football teams.
In 1979, he took over at FCHS, where his final record after retiring from coaching at FCHS was 149-74, including multiple bowl games and playoff appearances.
He taught history and was an assistant administrator as well.
His duties from that point included principal responsibilities at South Middle School and Franklin County High School.
Roberts finished his coaching career with an overall record of 194-93.
Long-time friend Al Clark of Estill Springs will introduce Roberts at the luncheon.
“We were both high school football coaches and lieutenants in the Army National Guard when we met,” Clark said. “In this time, Red was an outstanding leader, mentor, coach and family man with a great sense of humor and determination. He was at his best when the chips were down.”
Over the years after his retirement, Roberts has been inducted into the Glynn County (GA) Sports Hall of Fame as both a team member of the 1964 state championship team and later as an individual player, the Austin Peay State University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Franklin County High School Football Hall of Fame.
He is also a perennial nominee for the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame.
Parallel to his coaching career, Roberts was also a Tennessee Army national guardsman, serving in armor, artillery, and Military Academy positions, rising from private to the rank of colonel.
He received his commission from the Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Georgia.
He was selected as a colonel to lead his unit in their deployment to Afghanistan, where he was army liaison to the civilian government and U.S. ambassador during the conflict in Kabul, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Roberts met and married his wife, Stephanie, while at APSU, and they have two children and several grandchildren.
Stephanie was also an employee of the Franklin County School System where she served as a guidance counselor before moving on to a similar position at Independence High School following Red’s retirement.
They now live near Nolensville where Roberts and long-time assistant Mike Finney enjoy a round of golf on a daily basis.