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Carson-Newman's Sparks seeks to join 300-win club

3:14 PM, Aug 29, 2012   |    comments
Ken Sparks
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JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) -- Carson-Newman coach Ken Sparks says he never thought about retiring even after learning this summer that he has prostate cancer.

Just over two months after undergoing surgery, Sparks will seek his 300th career coaching victory Thursday when Carson-Newman opens its season against Glenville (W.Va.) State.

Sparks has a career mark of 299-80-2 and would become one of only 11 coaches in college football history with 300 wins. That list doesn't include former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, whose record dropped to 298-136-3 after the NCAA vacated 111 of his wins this summer.

Sparks, 68, holds the all-time record for wins by a Division II coach and ranks behind only John Gagliardi of St. John's (Minn.) and Larry Kehres of Mount Union among active coaches in any level of college football.

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