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Troup’s Glisson recognize during FCA banquet

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – He wants to win.

Likely without exception, anyone who chooses to go into the coaching game is a competitor and has a drive to succeed.

Tanner Glisson, Troup High’s head football coach, is no exception.

For Glisson, being a coach is about more than just finishing with more points than the opponent, though.

He also believes in the importance of helping guide and mold the players under his care, and that’s a responsibility he takes seriously.

That’s what made an award Glisson earned so meaningful.

Glisson was named the male coach of the year during the Fellowship of Christian Athletes West Georgia district meeting last week in Columbus.

Also, Troup volleyball coach Jodi Dowden was named the district’s female coach of the year, and Jake Fertig was selected as the Huddle leader of the year, making it a big day for the school.

Glisson is preparing for his third season as Troup’s head coach, and he said winning the award is “a real big honor, not just for me.”

“When you get an award like that that it’s not about win-loss record,” Glisson added. “It’s because of everybody in your organization does things the right way. You hold everybody accountable, and that’s including kids. If our kids walked around and acted like goof balls all the time, nobody would give us that award. So it’s a testament to them, and the coaches, and everybody. That’s one of the proudest moments you can have.”

The FCA has been a major part of Glisson’s life for decades.

When he was a standout football player at Manchester High, he became involved in the FCA, and he has remained committed to the organization since then.

One of the people who introduced Glisson to the FCA, coach Jeremy Williams, was on hand at the banquet last week.

Williams was an assistant coach at Manchester when Glisson was a student there, and he went on to become a successful head coach at Greenville.

While at Greenville, Williams hired Glisson as an assistant coach in 2002, further cementing the bond the two had.

Over the past 10 years, Williams has been living with ALS, but he remains involved in the FCA, and Glisson was thrilled to have him there last week.

“Jeremy Williams is instrumental in the FCA, and he was in attendance,” Glisson said. “He was my FCA sponsor when I was in high school. So that brought tears to his eyes, and it got me choked up because he was very instrumental in introducing me to FCA. So that was great. So we enjoyed it. That was a nice night.”

Glisson knew going into the ceremony that he was one of the finalists, although he felt like he was a long-shot to win.

“They called me and asked me if I was going to be in attendance. And they told me I was a finalist for this award,” Glisson said. “You get there, there are several hundred people there. It’s a big deal, and there’s no way they’re going to call my name. But they did. It was a neat honor. My mom was there, and my wife was there, so that was very important to have them there.”

Glisson has been in the coaching business for more than 15 years, and he said “there is so much more involved than just the score.”

“We see these kids every single day, and they’re looking to us for guidance,” Glisson added. “You have adversity in life. Momma has cancer, and brother just passed away. You can’t just fall apart. Somebody told me one time if you fall apart during adverse situations, there wasn’t much to you to begin with. So I want to teach them how to do it. So there’s no better way to teach them than how we respond when we’re losing, when we’re winning.”

That was put to the test in 2015 when, in Glison’s first season at Troup, the team struggled to a 1-9 record.

A year ago, Troup rebounded to go 8-3, and it finished second in Region 5-AAAA and hosted a home playoff game.

“We’re excited about it,” Glisson said. “We’ll just keep climbing, keep working one day at a time. We’re happy with the foundation we’ve laid.”

Glisson said he’s grateful to work at a school where he receives the support he needs, and that begins with principal Chip Medders.

“It comes from the top down,” Glisson said. “What they allow us to do, the values, the morals, the standards they hold people and the school to. Everything we do from a coaching standpoint falls in line with what they want. It’s the whole athletic department coach (Craig) Garner, coach (Bob) Schweizer and all of them. It’s everybody pulling in the same direction. When they were interviewing me, that was one of the things they wanted to change, and wanted to evolve into, hoping that I’d come in and be a part of that culture.”