Jefferson City City Council votes to rechristen College Street as Ken Sparks Way

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Jefferson City City Council has voted to rename College Street as Ken Sparks Way after Carson-Newman's recently retired head football coach. 

College Street bisects the middle of campus. It runs from the intramural fields in the west, running east to where it intersects Branner Avenue. It terminates at the front door to the Maddox Student Activities Center, which houses Holt Fieldhouse and Sparks' first on-campus office. 

The city council made the change final during the resolution's second reading during its meeting Feb. 6.

Carson-Newman and Jefferson City will dedicate the name change with a ceremony inside Stokely Dining Hall at 2 p.m on Tuesday, Feb. 14.  The ceremony is open to the public.

Sparks announced his retirement on Nov. 14. He finished his Carson-Newman career after 37 seasons, 338 wins, 99 losses and two ties.   His career winning percentage of .7699 is the fourth highest in college football history while the 338 victories amount to the fifth best total nationally. 

Sparks developed one of the winningest football programs in the history of the sport. The Eagles won five NAIA National Titles and played for it six times. A move to NCAA Division II didn't slow Sparks' Carson-Newman squad down. The Eagles played for the D-II National Title three times and were a semifinalist in 2009.

The rest of the numbers speak for themselves as Sparks has recorded 21 South Atlantic Conference Championships, 25 NCAA or NAIA playoff appearances.

Sparks was inducted into the inaugural NCAA Division II Hall of Fame Coaches Class in 2010 along with Northwest Missouri State's Mel Tjeerdsma and West Alabama's Bobby Wallace.

Sparks is also a member of the South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame, the Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, the Carson-Newman Athletic Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and the NAIA Hall of Fame.

Sparks has been honored with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Lifetime Achievement Award and National Coach of the Year. In 2002, Sparks received the All-American Football Foundation's Johnny Vaught Lifetime Achievement Award.

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