He’s not gone fishing, but suffice it to say – don’t look for Craig Clayton at Hillsboro before football practice.
After teaching and coaching for 38 years, the 63-year-old Clayton has retired from the former occupation.
“I had already retired from the Kentucky system,” Clayton said Thursday afternoon as he was heading to school. “In Tennessee, you’ve got to have 10 years (of service) or be 60. I’m ’60ish’, and I’ve been here nine years, so I decided I’d had enough.”
After 29 years in Kentucky, Clayton coached seven years at Franklin before coming to Hillsboro for the 2012 season. He had taught U.S. history most recently.
“I like the freedom of getting out and moving around,” he said. “Teaching, you can’t really go anywhere. I almost felt like I was trapped.”
Despite leaving the classroom, Clayton is able to continue as head coach under a Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association provision that allows a ‘retired educator’ who has taught for five or more years but is no longer in the teaching profession to hold a coaching position.
“It seems like I’m spending more time on football now than I was (when teaching),” Clayton said.
As far as interacting with the players during school hours, Clayton said there hasn’t been much of a change.
“I didn’t see the kids that much, anyway. I was at the far end of the school,” he said. “But everybody on the staff is in the building, so that helps a lot. I think that’s big, having those guys there.”
Reach Maurice Patton at 615-259-8018 and on Twitter @mopatton_sports.