J.T. Curtis’ résumé already is long enough: 26 state championships, 13 undefeated seasons and 540 career victories.
National champions in 2012. National coach of the year in 2012.
A list of all of his accomplishments would start on this page and have to be continued somewhere else.
But somehow, the longtime John Curtis football coach will have to try to squeeze two more items on the always-growing list.
One will be added Wednesday. The other could happen somewhere around 2021.
First things first, though.
Curtis is one of 12 people who will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame on Wednesday. The ceremony will be held at the Marriott in downtown New Orleans — about a mile from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which has been a home away from home for Curtis’ team every December.
His Patriots have played in the state championship game a mind-boggling 19 consecutive seasons and have played for the title 35 times in his 46 seasons as a head coach.
He is the eighth member from Louisiana to be inducted, joining Joe Ferguson and Kim Mulkey (1986), Jim Taylor (1988), Billy Brown (1990), Leslie Gaudet (1991), Edna Tarbutton (1994) and Alton Franklin (2010).
Curtis’ induction had to be a no-brainer.
If his football résumé wasn’t impressive enough, he probably could’ve been voted in as a baseball coach. He won six state titles in almost three decades on the diamond before focusing solely on football.
Or perhaps he could go in as an athletic director. He has put together a coaching staff — most of whom share his last name — that won six state championships this past school year: in baseball, softball, outdoor track (boys and girls), indoor track (boys) and cross country.
The late John T. Curtis Sr., who founded the school in 1962, surely would be proud of his son, who took over the football program in 1969.
But now there’s another milestone that seems to be within reach.
Curtis’ 540 career victories rank second nationally on the all-time wins list.
The guy who is at the top of the list, John McKissick, retired two weeks ago after a stellar career at Summerville High in South Carolina.
“You hate to see a person like that get out of the game, because he is so good for it,” Curtis said. “Anybody who puts in that kind of effort and time with young people, you have to have the utmost admiration for them. With the success he has had, it’s obvious he is in a category by himself. But if there is anybody who deserved to have an August off, it’s Coach McKissick.”
For McKissick, it’ll be his first fall not coaching since 1952. He spent 63 seasons as a coach, racking up 10 state titles and 621 career victories. McKissick is 88.
“I don’t have any plans to be doing it until I’m 88,” Curtis said with a laugh.
Curtis, who is 82 victories shy of passing McKissick, won’t have to.
He laughed when asked whether he had figured out how just many seasons it would take to add “nation’s winningest coach” to his résumé.
He says he hasn’t.
I have, so let’s crunch the numbers.
First things first.
Let’s throw out his first season as a coach in 1969, when his first team went 0-10 and scored just two touchdowns.
He quickly figured things out after that first year. He hasn’t had a losing season since.
Curtis has averaged 12 victories a season ever since.
Want to hear another crazy stat? You have to go all the way back to 1974 to find a season when Curtis didn’t win at least 10 games.
If he maintains that average of 12 wins per season, it would take him a tad over 6½ seasons to move to No. 1 on the victories list. That would be in the latter part of the 2021 season.
But maintaining 12 victories per season won’t be easy.
Curtis, never one to duck stiff competition, opted for the Patriots to move up and compete in the more rugged Catholic League this fall.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that 12 wins a season goes down to nine. It would then take Curtis a little over nine seasons to get to the top.
He’s 68 now and doesn’t look to be slowing down.
“As long as I can make a positive contribution and I can coach, I’ll continue to coach because I enjoy it,” Curtis said. “When the time comes and I don’t feel like I’m making a contribution in a very positive way, I’ll step out.”
When that time comes, will J.T. Curtis step out as the nation’s winningest coach? The next few years will answer that.
Is he a Hall of Famer? The past 46 years answered that.