Jeff Tomlinson was hired six months ago this week.
In that time, he has already established himself as more than just the football coach at Dickson County High School.
When I first interviewed Coach Tomlinson I asked him what success would look like.
I was expecting an answer about wins, points, or sending guys to play at the next level.
What I got, was an entirely different answer.
Coach Tomlinson talked about not knowing if they were successful for ten years.
Seeing if these young men grew up to be good fathers, husbands, and community leaders, that was success to him.
He discussed setting the example. Being not just seen but present everywhere.
I thought, sure, a lot of coaches say that, but do they live it?
Coach Tomlinson does.
Volleyball, baseball, softball, soccer, etc. I encountered Coach at all sorts of events.
He even attended several games played between his new school and former school, Montgomery Central, and said how as much as he wishes success for his former employer, his heart is squarely planted in Dickson County.
He has made an effort to be at events or get his players there.
Things like football camp, the Dickson Street Festival, and of course he encourages his players to also attend other sports.
He spoke with me last night, you can hear the full conversation at the link at the end of this article, and elaborated on involvement.
“This camp was the FUN-damentals, meaning we just wanted the kids to have fun,” he stated.
Coach Tomlinson would go on to discuss how “I did not get to do it this year but next spring we will host a middle school only camp, to them excited about Cougar football.”
He also made sure to mention how his team was the host for the annual end-of-year teacher banquet for the region. Being servers, hosts, and everything in between.
His team will even, in fact, have representatives at the street fair, final numbers unknown.
Now don’t take Coach Tomlinson’s laid-back, jovial, and community-centered attitude as non-competitive.
He is quite the opposite.
At camp this past week he pushed some of the older camps hard when it came to drills and technique.
He has held his team during spring and summer workouts and practice to a standard of excellence since day one.
Most importantly, he isn’t tempering expectations.
In my first conversation with him, which you can hear at the link below, he stated how he feels they can be good and compete next year. They can win multiple games.
In a follow-up conversation we had during camp this week, he made sure to say he expects up and downs this season, but that two or three years from now, we are discussing tangible on-field success.
Is that winning the district? Making a run in the playoffs?
What we do know is Coach Tomlinson has aided in or himself helped establish two strong programs at Creek Wood and Montgomery Central as solid contenders.
At Creek Wood, he served under then Head Coach Chuck Daniel who invested fifteen incredible years in that program to create what they are today.
Coach Daniel once remarked to me “Tomlinson is a good coach AND a good person.”
They were a powerhouse staff whom many were sad to see break up but also happy for coach Tomlinson to have his shot.
At Montgomery Central, where he of course was the head man himself, he pulled that program up from averaging around two wins to averaging over eight a season. All while creating a culture, not just that won, but that built strong and incredible young men.
Can he do it in the big leagues, six A ball, stay tuned.
If you want to hear more about camp and the offseason, click the link below.