October 22, 1922 - November 11, 2017
Born in Wallins Creek, KY
Resided in Alcoa, TN
The GI bill enabled Vernon to continue his education at Union College where he again excelled in basketball and baseball. The handsome captain of the basketball team married the reigning Miss Union College, Margaret Ann Roberts, and after graduation played semi-pro baseball before reporting to William & Mary to earn a Master’s degree in education. In 1950 he accepted the head basketball/baseball coaching position at Alcoa High School. Upon hiring Osborne, the Superintendent of Schools and the Alcoa City Manager told Vernon they did not like the slow brand of basketball and wanted to see fast-break play. Osborne would not disappoint for the next 39 years. At the time of Coach O’s retirement in 1989, his string of District, Regional victories, State Tournament appearances, 2 State runner-up titles and 2 State Championships in ’59 and ‘67, totaled more than 855 wins and placed him in the top 10 winningest high school coaches in the nation. He was named to multiple Athletic Halls of Fame in Kentucky and Tennessee. During his career, twice he received offers to leave Alcoa- once to hire on as a pilot for a commercial airline and once to assume a college coaching position, but his dedication and enjoyment in working with high school age young people took precedent.
He was a devout Christian, humble, and dedicated to his church, family, players, students, and friends. Even though he loved to win, his priority and prayers were for each player or person to do their best. He was a deacon and long-time member of Alcoa First Baptist Church. Personal success also came to him in his part-time hobby of raising Beefmaster cattle and managing the Osborne Cattle Company.
He was devoted to his family and community and was preceded in death by his wife Margaret Ann. He is survived by his daughters and their spouses Bette (Henry) Haile, Judy (Henry) Davis, his grandchildren, Lea (Stephanie) Davis, Marti (Timmy) Bittle, Carrie Davis, EdaElla Davis, his great grandchildren, Nora Kate and Miller Davis, and Walker Bittle, brother Bill (Maxine) Osborne, and sister Betty Jane Ellison. The family would to thank his caregivers Helen, Lara, Alice, Martha and Jamie and also Aundrea and Jennifer from Foothills Adult Care Enrichment Services (FACES). Memorial gifts in lieu of flowers may be made to Alcoa High School for the Vernon Osborne Scholarship fund. The body will be available for viewing at McCammon-Ammons-Click Funeral Home, 220 W. Broadway, Maryville TN 37801 on Friday, November 17 after 2pm and the family will be present from 5-7pm. The family will receive friends at the Vernon Osborne Gymnasium at Alcoa Middle School, 532 Faraday Street, Alcoa 37701, Saturday, November 18, 2017 from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 noon. Funeral Service with the Reverend Doug Sager will follow at 12:00 noon. Family and friends will assemble for interment at 1:30 pm at Sherwood Memorial Gardens.
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Maryville, TN US 37801
Alcoa, TN 37701
Alcoa, TN 37701
Alcoa, TN US 37701