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Emotional day for Jeter

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

For nearly three decades, Bubba Jeter was associated with Troup High, either as a student or a coach.

It’s a school that holds a special place in Jeter’s heart, and he was one of the many proud folks in attendance at a dedication ceremony for Troup High’s new athletic facility on Thursday afternoon.

After a ceremony in the 2,000-seat gymnasium, everyone made their way to the indoor practice facility.

Troup principal Niki Watts gathered everyone together for an announcement, and moments later a sign was unveiled, revealing the name of the indoor facility.

The name, emblazoned on a temporary blue sign, said the “Coach Bubba Jeter Indoor Practice Facility.”

Jeter, with his wife Lori, his daughters, and other members of his family in attendance, called it “the thrill of my life” to receive the honor.

“I grew up in this town, and played here in the 70s, and was a part of 28 teams here,” Jeter said. “For them to think this much of me means an unbelievable amount to me. It’s just an honor.”

Jeter, a University of Georgia graduate, had two different stints as Troup’s head football coach, and he had a 36-28 record in six seasons.

Jeter was also a long-time assistant coach at Troup, and he was the defensive coordinator on the 2001 team that reached the state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Growing up, Jeter saw himself as a future LaGrange High football player, but obviously he’s thrilled with how everything played out.

“My grandfather played for LaGrange, and we moved to the county in middle school,” Jeter said. “I had no idea I was going to be in the Troup zone, and I was so upset. I grew up pulling for LaGrange. When I got to the middle school I found out I had buddies and started playing football, and then I got to Troup and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Tanner Glisson, Troup High’s head football coach, pushed to have the facility named after Jeter.

“Lori Jeter comes to me and says, can we do something for Bubba on the practice field,” Glisson said. “I said look, I’ve got a better idea. So I proposed this to Mrs. Watts, and she took the bull by the horn. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the facility named after Bubba Jeter. I’m just real appreciative for all he’s done for us, for the players here. He’s just a true Tiger, so I’m ecstatic about it.”

For his part, Jeter believes a football program that means so much to him is in great hands.

Glisson has completed his fifth season as Troup’s head coach, and the team has won 35 games the past four seasons.

In 2018 the Tigers had the best season in school history, going 12-2 while reaching the state semifinals.

“I’m so proud of Tanner,” Jeter said. “Tanner’s got the heart of a champion. Number one he’s a great person, and that’s what this school needs is a great leader. He’s a great leaders for these kids. Coach has done a fantastic job. I’m so proud of him. He had his doubts. He had that 1-9 season (in 2015), and we talked a lot during that season. I told him to hang in there and you’ll be fine, and he has done a tremendous job. I’m so proud of him.”

Jeter is also proud to see the first-class facilities that the students at the school will be able to enjoy.

“I like to say the board what a vision they have to build something this nice that will be here 30, 40, 50 years from now,” Jeter said. “It’s tremendous vision by our school board. Niki Watts our principal here has done a fantastic job, and coach Tanner Glisson’s a good friend of mine. To watch this thing come up from the ground up has been fun to watch.”