Ken was a teacher, administrator and coach. His career began at his alma mater, Friendsville High School, in Friendsville, Tenn., as a football coach. The majority of his coaching career was dedicated to girls basketball. Ken coached at William Blount High School in Maryville, Tenn., and at Greenback High School in Greenback, Tenn. He also coached at Bainbridge High School in Georgia. He later went on to become the associate head coach of the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team. He retired from coaching and education at Rabun County High School, where he coached girls basketball and served as vocational director.
Ken was a 2006 inductee into the Blount County Sports Hall of Fame in Tennessee. He was named Coach of the Year numerous times throughout his career in both Tennessee and Georgia.
Ken was an avid fisherman and golfer and enjoyed being outdoors.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Coker Byrd.
He is survived by: his wife of 34 years, Christine Welch Byrd of Tiger; his children Kameren and Joshua Todd of Griffin and Kolby and Meredith Byrd of Clayton; his grandchildren, Parker and Addison Todd; his father, Kenneth E. Byrd Sr. of Maryville, Tenn.; his sisters, Karen Morgan of Louisville, Tenn., and Karla Kirby of Knoxville, Tenn.; several nieces and nephews; and his lifelong best friend, Larry Copper of Maryville.
The family received friends Monday at Smith’s Mortuary in Maryville. A private family graveside service was held at Sherwood Memorial Gardens in Maryville.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Rabun County High School gymnasium. There will be a designated seating area for all of his former players.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Coach Byrd’s honor to the Miley Duvall Scholarship Fund at United Community Bank, P.O. Box 1250, Clayton, GA 30525.
Beck Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements. An online guestbook is available at http://www.beckfuneralhome.com. Smith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements in Tennessee and can be reached at 865-983-1000.
The Clayton Tribune, Sept. 27, 2012