| Overall UK Wins: 2 | Overall UK Losses: 0 | Win % 100 |
Date of Birth: December 13, 1913
Date of Death: February 17, 1991
Hometown: Adamsville, TN
Alma Mater: Bethel College
For a generalized listing of officials, please consult this page.
|1/4/1943||Fort Knox at Kentucky||W||64 - 30||10||8||9||12||0||0||-||Referee - John Showalter (Georgetown) and Umpire - Lon Varnell (Bethel, TN)|
|2/9/1946||Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt||W||64 - 31||10||16||19||15||0||0||-||John Showalter and Lon Varnell|
Obituary - findagrave.com
Son of Londary Fulton ""Lon"" Varnell and Bertha Lee Shelton Varnell. He was born on Friday the 13th of December 1913, 13 minutes before noon, and weighed exactly 13 pounds. This was in Ripley's Believe It or Not. Married Kathryn Gilbert, April 9, 1939, in McNairy, Tennessee.
Lon excelled in athletics at Adamsville High School, lettering in basketball, football and baseball and at Freed-Hardeman College and Bethel College. After graduation, he began his teaching and coaching career at Shiloh and Saltilo high schools. He became a successful basketball coach at McKenzie High School and Bethel College,and then coached at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee for 22 years.
The February 1969 issue of "Sports Illustrated" described Varnell as being a "coach, Methodist minister, coal mine operator, car dealer, political campaign manager, hardware store proprietor, and promoter of high class entertainment in the 49 states and Canada." While coaching at the University of the South at Sewanee, Varnell also established himself as a leading promoter of athletic and entertainment events, being the first to bring the Harlem Globetrotters into the South for a 1949 Chattanooga engagement. Also while at Sewanee his University of the South basketball team toured Europe and North Africa, winning 53 of 57 games. This tour was in 1951 and was a first in American intercollegiate sports. Sewanee won the World Tournament at Geneva, Switzerland.
When he retired in 1970, he established Varnell Enterprises in Nashville. In 1973 Lon Shelton Varnell was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.[Bio from Shirley Stewart Milford]