Gaines achieves another goal as part of D-B coaching staff – Kingsport Times News

Posted: April 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm


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The Kingsport native was part of a national championship football team in college, played in the NFL and now is on the coaching staff at Dobyns-Bennett, his alma mater.

Gaines, 40, said being a football coach is something he dreamed of even as a teenager.

I always wanted to become a coach, even when I was a student at Dobyns-Bennett, he said. Thanks to coach Joey Christian for letting me come back. I appreciated it a lot. I definitely enjoy it. Coaching is a passion of mine. Theres no better place to do it than my hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee, with Dobyns-Bennett.

The Indians had a 2019 season to remember, piling up double- digit wins for the first time since 2012 and advancing to the TSSAA Class 6A quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Maryville.

Christian said Gaines means a great deal to the D-B program. Gaines has well over a decade of college coaching experience following stints at Chattanooga, Brevard, Maryville, Tusculum and East Tennessee State.

Gaines competed at the highest levels in his playing days.

After a standout high school career, he was a freshman defensive back on Tennessees 1998 national championship team.

Nearly 22 years later, he can recall the season like it was yesterday.

With the talent we had, even I as a true freshman could see we could compete with anyone, Gaines said. There were quite a few big games. The Florida game was big and obviously the Arkansas game, to pull out a win in that one. The national championship game (a 23-16 win over Florida State) was the biggest game Tennessee had and the biggest game theyve had since then.

My brother got to come out there (to the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona). It was just a great time for everyone, for the whole state of Tennessee.

His Vols career included a key interception of Alabama quarterback Andrew Zow that helped secure Tennessees 20-10 win, its sixth straight over the Crimson Tide at the time.

Gaines got to live out another dream when he was selected in the seventh round of the 2002 NFL draft. He was in camp with the San Francisco 49ers and played in the 2003 preseason with the Chicago Bears.

When I was first drafted, it was the dream come true, he said. I wish I could have had a longer career in the NFL. But I was able to go through the doors with two historic franchises and have such great experiences before some of my family became real pros in the NFL.

He was referring to cousins Gerald Sensabaugh and Coty Sensabaugh, who enjoyed long NFL careers.

Gerald Sensabaugh spent eight years with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Dallas Cowboys.

Coty Sensabaugh is a free agent after spending four years with the Tennessee Titans and time with the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. Last season, he played for the Denver Broncos before ending the season with the Washington Redskins.

Gaines time with the Bears led to a season as a starting cornerback for the German-based Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. The Fire went 6-4 during the regular season and met the Frankfurt Galaxy in the league championship at World Bowl XI in Scotland. The Fire fell 35-16.

On a personal level, Gaines got to experience Europe in a way he could have never dreamed of. His final experience as a player came in the 2004 preseason with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League.

My time in those other countries was great, Gaines said. Soccer is the dominant sport in Europe, but their fans enjoy football and they enjoyed us. I got to travel to most of Europe and enjoy the time of my life. When I was in Montreal, I went through training camp with the Alouettes and it was another good experience in one of Canadas largest cities.

Football has been good to me.

Beyond football, Gaines has been a teacher in Cleveland, outside Chattanooga, and at John Sevier Middle School. His preferred subject is history, something that has always piqued his interest.

I like working with the youth and teaching history, Gaines said. Ive always been drawn to it, whether youre talking about regular history or sports history. With football, I always liked the history of the game and particularly the history of Dobyns-Bennett football.

I like U.S. history and learning more about individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and all those people.

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Gaines achieves another goal as part of D-B coaching staff - Kingsport Times News

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April 18th, 2020 at 5:44 pm

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