The Cougars have found their man.
After the resignation late last month of Greg Burns, Dickson County was once again on the hunt for a new Head Football Coach.
Just three wins in two seasons for Burns, and not many for the Cougars before that, this hire felt critical for Dickson County to begin a turnaround.
They took their time, interviewing multiple candidates, and landed on somewhat of a familiar face; Jeff Tomlinson.
Tomlinson spent time as the offensive coordinator at Creek Wood before being hired at Montgomery Central as their Head Coach in 2012.
A career record at Central of 45-57 albeit does not sound that spectacular.
Until you look deeper and realize a few facts.
Tomlinson’s first season the Indians went 0-10, which will put anyone behind on a career record.
Also in the last four seasons, since 2018, his former program is 28-13 with two playoff appearances.
One of those appearances was last season where the Indians were put out by the eventual state champ, Tullahoma, in round two.
What does all this mean?
It means Tomlinson needs time.
If he is afforded the chance to build this program over some years, he can and will have success.
Tomlinson help build a system and culture at Creek Wood as the OC, he built a winning program at MC, and he can do the same with DC.
However, time is key.
Imagine if Montgomery Central had fired Tomlinson after 2016 when he went 3-7 or 2017 when he went 2-8.
He had shown steady progress until those two seasons, who was to say he wouldn’t decline further?
Well, the Indians program believed, and they were rewarded with a 10-2 season in 2018 and a 9-3 year in 2021.
Given time, Tomlinson can do this.
He will first have to make some home run hires on his coaching staff.
Dickson County has been a revolving door of coaches in the last several years and that is no way to build a culture.
Tomlinson must hire people who can help establish a winning culture.
After making those hires, Tomlinson must then rummage through the cupboard and find young men who fit his system.
At both Creek Wood and Montgomery Central, Tomlinson ran a successful triple-option system.
At the moment the question is does the personnel for the Cougars fit that scheme.
Certainly, Colbey Lamberth is a more pro-style QB, can he adjust or will Tomlinson need to go another way?
I wholeheartedly believe there are already young men on this team or coming in as freshmen, who can successfully run this system.
How quickly can Tomlinson get them acclimated, that awaits to be seen.
An advantage on that front for Tomlinson is when he was hired.
He will have the majority of spring and all of the summer to get himself, his coaches, and these players fully prepared for next season.