Thinking of visiting Monterey, TN? A MASSIVE part of the culture here lives through its wildest characters. One of the most well-known of these is “Mutt” Buckner, and today, we’re going to introduce him! Let’s get started!
An affinity for dogs in childhood? An obsession with Shania Twain’s husband Mutt Lange?
In the case of Monterey’s Mutt, he didn’t even have a say in the nickname that would follow him for the rest of his life.
His naming came before he even left the hospital when a close relative entered the nursery where “Chris” lay and casually joked, “he looks like an ‘ole mutt dog.” The joke stuck.
In fact, if you ask for “Chris Buckner” at the local grocery store, most won’t even know the name. If you ask for “Mutt,” eyes are likely to light up and a story will almost certainly begin.
But, how does one live up to a name like Mutt?
The Mutt of our article has done it by being a jokester, a passionate storyteller, a school teacher, a decorated athlete, a football and baseball coach, and most of all a giving, kind man.
A football and baseball star (he won MVP of the East/West State All-Star Game- see photos), Mutt married his high school sweetheart Gina Stephens (credit her for being bold enough to marry a man so named) and almost immediately dove back into the community as an adult by coaching Saturday youth football.
From there, he became a teacher, a middle school baseball and football coach, and eventually the vice principal and athletic director of Monterey High School (positions he holds to this day).
Mutt’s still married to his high school sweetheart (a respected, decorated member of the education system herself), and the couple raised two boys in Monterey (the younger, Michael carried on the athleticism becoming a TSSAA all-state basketball player in 2009).
You would be hard pressed to find a citizen who doesn’t know Mutt, and that’s no accident. He’s one of the faces of Monterey because for more than 30 years, he’s poured his life into the people that call the city home.
He’s done this by spending 1,000’s of hours at ball fields and gymnasiums, by buying clothes for students who couldn’t afford it (when no one was watching), and by offering his time, talents, and kindness to make the City of Monterey a better place.
How do I know so much about Chris “Mutt” Buckner? Simple, he’s my dad.
He’s also one of the best men I’ve ever known, and I’m proud to be his son.
So, if you find yourself in Monterey, make sure and get at least one tale from the piece of local folklore named Mutt.