Legendary Football Coach Carl Madison Selected For FHSAA Hall Of Fame

April 17, 2021

Legendary football coach Carl Madison has been selected for induction into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

The football field at Tate High School was recently remained “Carl Madison Field” in honor of the legendary coach that led the Aggies to a 1980 state championship and is one of the all-time winningest high school coaches in the nation.

Madison, who turned 90 in January, sits at number two on Florida’s all-time football coaching victories list with a 326-129-7 record.

In addition to winning a state title at Tate, he took the Pine Forest Eagles to two state championships in 1987 and 1988. The 1988 Eagle team was named as national champions by USA Today, and Madison earned the title of the National High School Football Coach of the Year. All in all, he coached at five different Florida High Schools including Ernest Ward, plus three out of state schools.

His football days began early at Escambia County High School in Atmore where he played tailback under Coach Herbert Barnes from 1945 to 1947, making him one of Atmore’s semifamous “Barnes Boys” with 30 straight wins. After a stint in the Army, from 1950 to 1952, Madison played college ball for Texas Tech and Troy State Teachers College in the mid-1950s.

Fresh out of college, Madison coached for four years beginning in 1957 at Ernest Ward High School in Walnut Hill. He moved to Milton High in 1961, coaching them to a state championship and 34 straight victories. He then took a coaching job at a Georgia High School, losing a state championship game in 1968.

Madison joined the coaching staff at Tate in 1971 on his way to winning that 1980 state championship. He left Tate in 1983, heading to Pensacola High for a couple of years. Then it was off to Pine Forest and those back-to-back state championships. He coached at an Albany, Georgia, school, another 10 years at Milton High and another short period at PHS during the period from 1989 until 2002.

In 2002, he took the head coach job at the small Jackson Academy in Alabama. The then 71-year old took over a team that had gone 0-10 prior to his arrival. He lost his first two games at Jackson, but he went on to win the state championship. The following year, Jackson was undefeated and won another state championship.

In 2009, Madison briefly came out of retirement to once again take to the field at Tate, this time as an offensive consultant.


17 Responses to “Legendary Football Coach Carl Madison Selected For FHSAA Hall Of Fame”

  1. Carl Wehrspaun on April 21st, 2021 8:19 pm

    Second to my father, Coach Madison taught me many life lessons that are still with me today. Great group of Coaches and Teammates that I had an opportunity to be a part of at THS. Coach Madison is certainly a top “one percenter” in regards to High School football and being a great guy. Well deserved – far overdue. Congrats Coach!

  2. Janice Cooley on April 20th, 2021 11:58 am

    one Amazing Man that loved his boys, he had tuff love for them to be the best. Milton HS loved this man and now to call him a great friend. Congrats on your well deseved honor

  3. Wendell Hall on April 20th, 2021 6:25 am

    Congratulations coach Madison! Very deserving of this recognition!

  4. Roderick Hamme on April 20th, 2021 3:29 am

    Coach Madison was truly a legendary Cisco and a great man. He is certainly deserving of this Hall Of Fame induction. Congratulations, Coach Madison!

  5. Dr. Kevin Linam on April 19th, 2021 6:52 pm

    Congratulations Coach! I played for a dozen coaches, coached with a few dozen coaches, Coach Madison the best of the best! I only wish I had been able to coach with him for a career! A pure genius on both sides of the ball. Made me want to be a better coach! Wonderful news! Coach Linam

  6. Suzi G. on April 19th, 2021 2:55 pm

    The article is about Coach Madison and to post your congrats about what you may know about him. Wayne got lost worrying about Howie’s comment !

    Howie was chastised about his word “wimp”. Go check out the meaning yourself.

    Wimp – 1. someone who is physically smaller than others, 2. lacks confidence, 3. breaks under pressure, 4. lazy.

    @ Howie – I get what you’re saying about being a wimp Some sports players can not accept what it takes to play the sport. They want to, but find out that isn’t for them. I don’t feel you using the word “wimp” had any harmful meaning to it. Only a description of those that shouldn’t be playing football or does not display enough desire for the sport. Players easily get hurt if they can’t run with the big dogs.

    Football teaches you to work hard and play smart. Be a team leader, be all you can and great at something. Play through pain, play to win, and have fun.

    Thank you Coach Madison for all of your years of coaching. Your hard work and dedication have inspired many athletes to become better people and to some, all they dreamed to be.

    My son is living proof with playing in College.

  7. Vester Richard on April 19th, 2021 8:17 am

    Congratulations coach! Very well deserved! I wouldn’t be the person or coach I am today without his discipline and leadership! Love ya Coach!

  8. roark madden on April 19th, 2021 6:27 am

    Congratulations Coach year of 1977 class

  9. Eddie pitman on April 18th, 2021 9:41 pm

    Congrats coach

  10. HARRY Barraclough on April 18th, 2021 3:51 pm

    Greatest Coach ever! Congratulations ! So glad that I was part of it! Tate High School Class of 1976. Go Aggies!

  11. Erik Hector on April 18th, 2021 3:00 pm

    Coach Madison was an outstanding coach but I believe he was an even better man. By demanding maximum effort from his players he made every boy realize that great achievement is directly related to great effort and personal sacrifice. Some days his practice field was like a cauldron where all his boys were encouraged to become men. On other days we shared meals, served our community as a team, and simply enjoyed building friendships. By his example his players were recognized even without their jerseys. A quiet, humble confidence was a unique characteristic of his boys. I am forever grateful that I was allowed to learn the lessons of sport/life from Coach Carl Madison.

  12. Wayne on April 18th, 2021 11:40 am

    @ Howie…
    Shows you never learned anything at Tate
    Coach taught you discipline
    He never would call a player a wimp or anything who left the team
    He had and has more compassion than people like you who lower themselves to name calling

    You fail

  13. Bubba Griffith on April 18th, 2021 10:54 am

    Congrats Coach !! The best there ever was !! This world needs a lot more Carl Madison’s !!

  14. Howie on April 17th, 2021 7:27 pm

    Carl Madison is truly the person that deserves this Hall of Fame honor. Many boys would leave the team due to the strict discipline from Carl, but those who remained learned what not being a wimp is.

    Good Job Carl for your winning and teaching.

  15. Dan Karp on April 17th, 2021 5:32 pm

    Congratulations coach! Well deserved. Many thanks to those that took the time and made the effort to nominate someone so worthy. Look forward to seeing you in Gainesville September 26 and celebrating you, your career and your induction.

  16. Elijah Bell on April 17th, 2021 10:56 am

    Coach Madison is a true Hall Of Fame person.

  17. JTV on April 17th, 2021 3:33 am

    Congratulations Coach, well deserved but way overdue. Should have been done 30 years ago.

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