Richard Fendley, a former head football coach at Warner Robins High School and defensive coordinator on two of the school’s national champion teams, died Sunday. He was 77.
Fendley was head coach and athletic director at Warner Robins High for six years until his retirement in 2003, amassing a 52-18 record with two region championships. He was defensive coordinator from 1973 until he became head coach, and the school won three state titles and two national championships during that period.
One of the national titles, determined by a poll, came in 1981 when Warner Robins City Councilman Keith Lauritsen was on the roster.
“He was really a brilliant person,” Lauritsen said. “He was one of the smartest coaches in the state. He was way ahead of his time. He sure will be missed.”
According to his obituary, Fendley was born in Putnam County and graduated high school there, where he excelled in football. He played at South Georgia College under Bobby Bowden, who would go on to become a legendary college coach, most notably at Florida State University.
Fendley spent a total of 40 years teaching and coaching. He also coached track and tennis. He coached the Demons to two state titles in track and was named the Georgia State Track Coach of the Year in 1986. An annual track meet is named in his honor.
He is survived by his wife, Delores Adams Fendley, and four children.
Visitation is Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at McCullough Funeral Home. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the McCullough chapel. Burial will follow in Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.