Clifford retires as PHS football coach

Chris Dunham, PDT Sports Writer

October 27, 2012

PDT Sports Report

Long-time Portsmouth football coach Curt Clifford exclusively confirmed to the Daily Times via text message early Saturday morning that he retired from his post as the boss of Portsmouth football Friday evening.

“No rumor. I retired last night. I informed Tom Walker, assistant superintendent and Ted Newsome, assistant head coach of my decision on Sept. 10,” Clifford said.

Clifford began coaching at Portsmouth as an assistant in 1977 and was hired as the head coach in 1989. During his tenure as the Trojan boss, Portsmouth made seven playoff appearances.

The last winning season Portsmouth experienced under Clifford’s guidance came in 2009 when the team finished 7-3, but missed a playoff appearance. In 2007, the Trojans made the playoffs, but finished 8-3 after a loss to Licking Heights in the first round of the playoffs.

In 2004 the Trojans made the playoffs, but lost to New Albany to finish 7-4.

Clifford’s most successful season came in 2000, when the team went 13-1, reached the Final Four in the State Tournament and was voted state champions by the Associated Press.

The Trojans finshed 9-1 regular season record in 2002 and the Trojans defeated Waverly and Ironton in the playoffs, but lost to West to finish the season with an 11-2 mark.

Though southern Ohio’s oldest rivalry’s record between Portsmouth and Ironton remains very tight with a 56-54-8 Ironton advantage, Portsmouth has had trouble with the Fighting Tigers over the last decade. The Trojans have lost nine of the last 12 contests against their rival, despite defeating them twice in 2002.