Proclamation by Mayor Woodby honors Charlie and Jane Bayless

Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, September 22, 2021

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Mayor Patty Woodby honored legendary coach and former Carter County Commissioner Charlie Roscoe Bayless and his wife Jane with a proclamation during the September Carter County Commission meeting.

As a coach, Bayless won a career total of 964 wins and was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame. But many have forgotten about his years of service to his community, representing the 5th District on the Carter County Commission from 1954 and until his retirement.

Born on Oct. 1, 1923, Bayless attended Happy Valley High School where he lettered four years in basketball, three years in football, and one year in baseball.

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After graduation, Bayless dedicated his life to serving others, first in the military as an MP Traffic Officer in the 3rd Army stationed in England, Belgium, and Germany.

While in Germany, he was assigned to guard high-ranking German officers at Nuremberg Prison where they stood trial for war crimes.

Returning to the states in January 1946 with the rank of staff sergeant, he married Jane Sisk.

Bayless attended Milligan College and ETSU College, graduating in  1950 and returning to Happy Valley as an assistant coach under Carl Gouge.

From 1951 to 1952, Bayless moved to Jonesborough to become the head coach before returning to Happy Valley as an assistant.

In 1953, Bayless assumed the head coaching position at his alma mater where he remained until 201 when he retired at the age of 88.
Ross Garland, Bayless grandson, and current commissioner accepted the proclamation on behalf of his grandfather and family.

“Thank you so much to the mayor and the commission,” Garland said. “Granddad wished that he could be here and would have loved to be here.

“After 50-plus years in this place he had had enough of it — that’s just a joke. The words in the proclamation are kind and very accurate. He lived a life dedicated to service – to his county through the years as a county commissioner and certainly 62 years of coaching at Happy Valley,  touching the lives of many people and many students.

“I am proud to be his grandson.”