The Ballad of Elizabethton John Hutchins

Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

BY C.Y. Peters

In the heart of Elizabethton, where the replica of basketball games reverberated through the streets, there stood a legend known to all as Elizabethton John Hutchins. His name became synonymous with the Cyclones, the local high school team, and his feats on the court were spoken of in hushed tones by fans and foes alike.

John Hutchins wasn’t just a player; he was the cornerstone of the team. His role was simple yet crucial: shoot the ball and grab rebounds. If he missed, he’d rebound and shoot again, relentless in his pursuit of victory. With John leading the charge, the Cyclones soared to victory after victory, their dominance spreading far and wide.  He also played baseball for the Cyclones.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

But John’s journey to basketball greatness began long before his days at Elizabethton High School.  He led the Westside Wildcats to a Championship.   A graduate of the very school he would later immortalize with his capacity, John further honed his skills at Milligan College, where he not only earned a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education but also left his mark on the basketball court.

His thirst for knowledge and dedication to his craft led him to pursue higher education, earning a Master’s degree from Tusculum College and later an Education Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University. Armed with knowledge and experience, John embarked on a career in education spanning over three decades.

 From teaching Government at Sullivan East to History at T. A. Dugger, John imparted wisdom to countless students, shaping young minds with his passion for learning. His leadership didn’t end in the classroom; he also served as principal at Harold McCormick, guiding the school with a steady hand for five and a half years.

Yet, basketball remained a constant in John’s life. He coached at T. A. Dugger, instilling the same values of discipline and teamwork in his players that he embodied on the court. And through it all, he had his rock by his side—his beloved wife, Pam.

Together, they shared over 34 years of marriage filled with love, laughter, and shared adventures. Camping trips in the wilderness, fishing excursions on tranquil lakes, and the joy of raising their two sons, Joshua and Michael, who would later bless them with grandchildren—Adriana, Veda, and Maverick.

Their home is always alive with the bounding energy of their three dogs—Annabelle, Lucy, and Juanita—adding to the warmth and joy that filled their hearts. And every Sunday, rain or shine, they find solace and community at First Baptist Church, their faith grounding them in times of trial and triumph.

As the years passed, John Hutchins became more than just a basketball player or an educator; he became a pillar of the Elizabethton community. His legacy extends far beyond the hardwood floors of the gymnasium, touching the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him.

And though time may march on, and the cheers of the crowds may fade, the legend of Elizabethton John Hutchins will forever be engraved in the journals of history—a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and the enduring spirit of a small-town hero.