Culbreth, champion soccer coach, dies

Former Farragut High School boys soccer coach Wallie Culbreth passed away on Thursday, July 21, after a battle with cancer.

He was 61.

Culbreth, who coached the Admirals from 2002 through 2015, won four Class AAA State Championships at Farragut and served as a mentor for his athletes.

“He was a great person and this is a tragic loss for the Farragut family,” FHS athletic director Donald Dodgen said. “His record stands for itself with all the state tournaments and state championships.

“He was Farragut soccer. He took over for Dennis Lindsay and he put Farragut boys soccer on the map. He really turned things around and he taught life lessons.”

Culbreth guided the Admirals to state titles in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2009. In 2004, under his leadership, Farragut went 24-2 and was declared National Champion by

In 2003, the Admirals went 25-2. That season, Farragut finished second in the nation according to the same poll. That season, Culbreth was named National Coach of the Year by

He won various multiple area Coach of the Year awards during his stellar high school coaching career, which began and ended at FHS.

In 2010, he received an ESPN Espy Award as the television network named him National High School Coach of the Year.

He left coaching after the 2015 season.

Although current Farragut boys soccer head coach Ray Dover never played for Cul-breth, he remembers his predecessor as a man who gave everything to the program.

“People are measured by the things they gave and Wallie gave the program everything he had and he will be sorely missed,” Dover, a 2000 FHS graduate, said. “We are going to honor him, his wife and his family. He will always be with us moving forward.”

Culbreth moved to the Knoxville area in 1995 and coached club soccer before taking the Farragut job in 2002.

Upon relocating from Florida, he teamed up with John Craven to coach Arsenal of the Smoky Mountain Soccer Club and won multiple state championships.

Culbreth was a State Farm insurance agent in Oak Ridge.

Culbreth is survived by his wife, Dee Dee; his first wife, Donna Palmer; two sons, Walter and Bradley. Culbreth was preceded in death by his daughter, Brooke.

Culbreth was laid to rest Wednesday, July 27, at Pleasant Forest Cemetery.