Bartlett football coaches since ’62 to raise funds at golf tourney


The Bartlett Touchdown Club will host a fundraising golf tournament that will showcase every living football coach in Bartlett High School‘s history.

The event will be July 25 at Quail Ridge Golf Club (4055 Altruria Road, Bartlett). It will help the Bartlett Touchdown Club fundraise for numerous projects, namely improved facilities. It is the first golf tournament and the first fundraising venture of its kind for the booster club.

The living lineage of Bartlett head coaching stretches all the way back to 1962 when Coach Glenn Essary manned the helm for six years.

He, along with Ricky Thurow, Tom Marino, Mike Williams, Robert Armbruster, Brian Brewer, Jeff McFerran, Mike Stark, and long-time voice of the Panthers, Coach “Snuff,” have committed to playing in the tournament.

Coach Scott Reid is slotted to play as well but may have to withdraw depending on the scheduling of another event.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has also already agreed to play.

“I graduated from Bartlett High School and have a vested interest in supporting this year’s golf tournament,” he said. “It’s important for me to ensure the football program has the necessary resources for the team’s players and coaching staff.”

Fundraisers like this are critical to make big changes, as the football program pays for itself.

“The football program is self-supported,” said Touchdown Club president Alan MacFerran. “There was no budget from Shelby County Schools back in the day. There’s no budget from Bartlett City Schools. It’s all self-funded.”

Although not a Bartlett native, MacFerran moved to the city in 2004, got involved and fell in love with the community. His two sons and oldest daughter attend Bartlett High School. Two more girls will likely follow in their siblings’ footsteps.

MacFerran clearly has a vested interest in the school and believes the football program could one day be a beacon for the rest of the city.

“Baseball’s always been big daddy over here,” he said. “The city of Bartlett, we have one high school, so Bartlett High School should be one of the largest hubs of the city, and the football program should be the face of the school.”

But the football team cannot be the cornerstone of the school, much less the city, if it does not maintain facilities.

Why help is needed

The locker room itself is spacious and has wooden lockers. Upgrades are needed for the training room, freshman locker room, weight room, bathrooms, showers and film room (a hallway with a projector screen on the wall).

For example, the weight room, which is 1,300 square feet, needs to be 6,000 square feet in order to accommodate all the players. Currently, the team takes three shifts of one and a half hours each in the weight room in order for everyone to get the required reps in.

There is also an unusable corner in the weight room where plumbing from the basketball gym intrudes. From time to time, there are sewage leaks.

In addition, the showers are “all but abandoned,” according to MacFerran. The bathroom has two child-sized stalls and three urinals packed into a small space for the use of 100 teens.

The current fundraising is general at the moment, as the Touchdown Club is waiting to learn the school board’s decisions on possible relocation of the football field or even the school.

“We are out there fundraising with no specific direction other than to raise funds to improve the program,” MacFerran said.

He added that a tentative “direction of the program” has been agreed upon and will be unofficially presented after the tournament at a dinner at Quail Ridge.

While the fundraising aspect of the tournament is important, MacFerran stressed the need for the Bartlett area’s participation so this becomes a true community-wide effort by Bartlett residents and school alumni.

MacFerran encourages them to get involved. He said, “We look forward to having the entire community support the programat any level.”

For more information or to sign up for the event, contact MacFerran at (901) 849-9781 or email

Written by Mac Trammell, special to the Express. Contact him at