Born on Sept. 12, 1979 in Kingsport, Tenn., Teddy Gaines was destined to play football. Dominating his high school football field at Dobyns-Bennett, Gaines went on to play for former football coach Phillip Fulmer at the University of Tennessee.
As a true freshman, Gaines was a part of the Volunteer squad that went on to win the national championship in 1998. Gaines continued playing ball throughout his undergraduate career and went on to have an incredible career as a cornerback for the Volunteers. Although winning the national championship was indeed an invaluable accomplishment, Gaines claimed that the greatest triumph of his football career was being drafted in 2002 by the San Francisco 49ers a cornerback.
Upon being drafted, Gaines’ professional career continued to climb, including time with the 49ers, as well as the stints with the Chicago Bears. After retiring from the sport, it seemed as though Gaines was not only destined to play football, but to coach it, too. Previously coaching at Brevard College in North Carolina, Gaines was eager to come back to East Tennessee to do what he loves at Maryville College.
“I was looking to get back into coaching here in Tennessee, and I jumped on the opportunity to come help out coach Rader.” From the looks and sounds of it, Gaines will be here at MC for years to come. “I love it here. Knoxville is like my second home. I love it,”
Gaines said. As the defensive backs coach here at MC, it is obvious that the same intensity and passion that Gaines played with is present in his coaching, as well. Whether in practice or the game, Gaines demands excellence on every rep. “Perfectionist,” said senior safety and captain Kane Crowell when asked to describe Gaines in one word.
“Coach Gaines has demanded perfection on every play ever since spring. I like it because it makes you strive to be better every day,” Crowell said. When it comes to football, Gaines focuses on one thing and one thing only, and that is winning.
“My ultimate goal in my coaching career would be being a part of a team that wins big time championships, like a conference championship. We can do that here at Maryville.” Being an incredible athlete and an intense coach are things that Gaines is known for, but there is a lot about Gaines that many people are unaware of.
In addition to football, Gaines is also a huge basketball fan, with his favorite team being the Los Angeles Lakers. Another interesting fact about Gaines is that his favorite television network is the food network.
“There is nothing I enjoy more than sitting down on the couch at night and watching the food network,” Gaines said. When asked to tell one thing that people may not know about him, Gaines’ reply was an unexpected one. “I’m a caring person, very caring person. People might not think that when they first meet me, but I think I have a good heart,” Gaines said.
Not only did MC get blessed with a terrific football coach, but we were lucky enough to acquire a great man as well. With the help of Gaines, each one of his players will leave MC as not only the best football player they can be, but as great individuals, too.