In Junior High School he played football and basketball serving as team captain of both sports. Moving on to Shelbyville Central High School, he played four years of basketball, three years of baseball, two years of football, and one year of track. In basketball he served as his team’s captain his senior year, was selected as an all-district, all region, and all-mid-state player. He attended Middle Tennessee State University where he played two years of basketball and one year of baseball.
After getting his Bachelor’s degree at MTSU, he began a coaching career in Rutherford County at McFadden Junior High School where he coached football, both girls and boys basketball, and track with his teams winning the conference title in each of the male divisions. The football team was invited to play in the Lake Bowl winning 6-0 and the basketball team played in the Ashland City Mid-State Basketball Tournament for junior high school finishing as runner-up in that tournament.
Mike returned to Bedford County in 1966 to teach and coach at Unionville Community School. At Community, he coached boys and girls junior high AND high school basketball and baseball. Coach Bone had three outstanding teams and successful years at Community High School with the boys’ basketball team not only winning with schools of their size but was known to be able to compete with and against the larger high schools across the state. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments was the win over his alma mater, Shelbyville Central who was undefeated at the time and ranked number one win the State by some polls.
Coach Bone loved his tenure at Unionville Community School but in the fall of 1969 returned to his beloved Shelbyville Central High School where he served as head boys basketball coach for seven years and assisted in baseball for three years. He also scouted and/or filmed for the football team for five years. During those seven years he had five winning seasons with three of them being 20+ game winners. His teams qualified for the region five of those seven years and twice for the sub-state which in that time made up the final sixteen for the state tournament. There were no divisions for schools in those days.
Following his career in coaching, Mr. Bone continued to be involved in athletics. He served as athletic director and assistant principal for two years at Central. He then began his tenure as principal of Central High School and later as superintendent of schools in Bedford County where as an administrator he may have had his greatest influence and impact on many young athletes and coaches at Central as well as across the mid-state. During this time he served as TSSAA District and Regional Tournament Director for 16 years. As principal his school hosted the sub-state tournament seven times while he served as the administrator of those events. He was well known for attempting to recruit the best coaches that he could find in all sports. During his tenure as the principal of SCHS those teams won conference titles in football reaching the State Playoffs two times. Both basketball teams won District, Region, and Sub-State titles. The women’s teams were state champions or runner up 17 times during this tenure and ranked #1 nationally on two occasions. In 1989 the boys’ team returned to the State Basketball Tournament for the first time since 1961 finishing in the final four. MR. Bone if proud to point out that his son was a member of the 1989 team! It was under his watch that the girls’ softball, soccer, and golf programs were started at Central High School. In 2001-2002 Mr. Bone received the A.F. Bridges TSSAA for School System Administrator of the Year Award.
One would be hard pressed to find an administrator who contributed as much to athletics as Mr. Bone in a variety of ways. Those who know him well would tell you that he spent countless hours literally building fields for football, baseball, softball and soccer fields as well as personally sanding, painting, refinishing, gym floors, repairing score clocks, sound systems, and even climbing poles to replace light bulbs! He not only did this personally as a principal but continued with his efforts as Superintendent of Schools helping other schools in Bedford County with their athletic facilities and programs. He extended his help to the Shelbyville City Recreational Director in the early 70’s and was a major influence on the development of Griffin Park and the layout of those fields. He organized and directed the very first try-out and the beginning of the little girls’ softball program. He also started the junior pro basketball program while a coach at Central with his wife taking old jerseys and practice uniforms and altering them for the four teams to have a uniform of some kind. He says “thosethings were crude then compared to now but had to start somewhere!”
Mr. Bone served almost 42 years in education and athletics activities in Bedford County. In 2009 Coach Mike Bone, as he prefers to be called, was named to the TSSAA Sports Hall of Fame for Administrators. Now that he is retired you might say he is starting all over again having built a baseball filed on his farm for his two grandsons’ youth baseball teams to practice on (complete with hauled in infield dirt compound), 419 costal Bermuda infield grass, and underground watering system! He recently transported all the team equipment for the youth league baseball Tennessee Tomahawks to Cooperstown, New York where he watch one of his grandsons play in Dreams Park!