Polk County football coach Bruce Ollis says he will retire after 2022-23 academic year

Zachary Huber
Hendersonville Times-News

Polk County coach Bruce Ollis, who has accounted for 63% of the football program’s victories, said on Monday he plans to retire following the 2022-23 academic year.

The news comes after Polk County fell to Maiden in the first round of the 2A NCHSAA state playoffs. The Wolverines had an average season, finishing fourth in the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference after racking up a 5-6 overall, 3-3 league record. 

Ollis said he first thought about retirement after his wife retired last year. He became jealous watching her do all the things he couldn't do like traveling to visit their four grandchildren who live in Connecticut, Tennessee and California.

In total, he has roamed the sidelines at a high school football game for 43 seasons. He has coached at five schools and in three different states. He has a 237-183 career record at his five stops. 

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Ollis has coached the Wolverines during two stints. He first became the head coach in 2002. He left the program for T.L. Hanna (S.C.) where he coached from 2014-2016. Ollis then returned to Polk County for good. 

He amassed a 150-72 record with the Wolverines. During his tenure, Ollis helped Polk County win six conference championships and led it to one 1A West Regional final. He has also had more than 40 players go on to play football at the next level. 

Six of his teams went on to win 10 or more games. The Wolverines went 12-2 in 2010, which set the school record for most victories in a season. 

He said Polk County means everything to him.

"Polk County is really our home now," Ollis said. "They gave me the opportunity to be the head coach here in 2002. And it's been a great run for us. And I feel like we are adopted Polk Countians."

Ollis also said he will help the new coach transition into his new role before he retires.

However, he didn't rule out a potential return to the sidelines. He said his son Jordan coaches Chadwick Academy in California.

"I may go out there and lend him a hand," Ollis said. "Or I may just ride off into the sunset."