In Memoriam: Founder Fred Pancoast

Founder of Pancoast Benefits, Fred Pancoast stands in front of a football field.Fred Pancoast founded Pancoast Benefits in 1985 with the core vision of providing personal, unmatched customer service. A former football coach and U.S. Marine, he was driven to create an environment based on both teamwork and discipline, and although he passed away in 2023 at age 91, his vision for the company is still alive and well at Pancoast Benefits. Fred came from a humble background in Pensacola, FL and went on to become a well-known college football player and coach, starting at the University of Tampa, moving onto the University of Florida, University of Georgia, Memphis State University , then finishing his career at Vanderbilt University. After his time at Vanderbilt, he settled with his wife and four daughters in Nashville, where he began his business career. He spent 5 years working at Murray Manufacturing Company as a director of human resources before founding Pancoast Benefits in 1985.

In addition to serving his clients at Pancoast, he also spent much of his time working with multiple local charitable organizations. He was heavily involved in Operation Stand-down, an agency connecting veterans with careers, community, and crisis services; and Room In The Inn, an organization offering shelter to the local homeless population. Because of his service to the community, President George W. Bush honored Pancoast with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2008.

Fred also received multiple awards in the football sphere including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Fred Russell Distinguished American Award from the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2012.

Although the HR and employee benefits landscape has changed greatly in the 30-plus years since the origin of Pancoast Benefits, Fred’s vision to provide unmatched customer service to clients through teamwork and discipline lives on. At Pancoast, we strive to carry on his legacy every day.