Donnie Pruitt

Class of 1969 / Inducted 1992 / Football

Donald “Donnie” Pruitt was a four-year letterwinner on the Emory & Henry football squad. The team lost only five games over a three-year span when Pruitt was on the team. In 1966, he was named to the All-Area Second-Team by the Knoxville News Sentinel, and in 1968 he earned Virginia Small College All-State and NAIA All-District Six recognition, as well as being named an honorable mention by the Knoxville News Sentinel. Pruitt was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Pruitt, who was an exceptional wide receiver, left school as the record holder for career receptions with 161. When he graduated, he held the single-season record of 63 receptions, and a single-game record of 19 receptions, which was a national record at that time. The Bristol Herald Courier nicknamed him “Fly Paper” for his ability to catch anything that came to him.

After graduating, Pruitt began a teaching and coaching career in Washington County before moving to George Wythe High School, where he served as a social studies teacher as well as a football, basketball, and track coach. His career honors and recognitions include being a two-time Wythe County Social Studies Teacher of the Year, being named Track Coach of the Year by the Roanoke Times in 1987, winning the Walt Carmack Track Award the following year, and being named the Southwest Virginia Track Coach of the Year in 1995. In 2003, he was named Football Coach of the Year for his district after seeing his team to a state championship victory in the 2002 season.

Pruitt retired from coaching as the winningest football coach in George Wythe High School history with a 79-24 record, six district titles, two regional titles, and a state championship. As a track coach, his team earned 11 district and three regional titles. He was inducted into the Wythe County Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.