Remembering the Legend: John Hyatt
Published 11:47 am Friday, August 5, 2022
BY C.Y. Peters
High school basketball coach
John Hyatt, a Hampton High product, was a three-sport athlete and trained by one of the best, Buck VanHuss. He held the school record for over 30 years running the mile in 4 minutes and 21-seconds. He was also the conference champ and undefeated in cross country.
Hyatt later exhibited the right touch as a high school basketball coach in Carter County. He won 90 games in five seasons (1966-71) at Unaka, finishing with three consecutive 20-win campaigns and a pair of regional tournament appearances in the pre-classification era. In his third year at Unaka, he won 22-games losing only eight. In 1970 his team went 22-7, losing to Science Hill in the District tournament 62-60 on a controversial call.
Additionally, Hyatt adeptly handled the role of assistant coach on Happy Valley’s 1973-74 state championship team. Hyatt closed his coaching career with a four-year run (1984-88) atop Cloudland’s program. His 1986-87 team shared the Smoky Mountain Conference championship for the school’s first league crown since 1967-68. John married Helen Davis Hyatt and they have three sons John, Mark and Matt. John Hyatt passed away on July 12, 2015.