FARRAGUT, Tenn. (WATE) — Football is family.
That mantra reflects the culture Farragut head coach Eddie Courtney, who has been with the program since 1977, has built for the Admirals.
Ahead of Father’s Day this upcoming weekend, WATE 6 Sports got to take a closer look at the mantra in play for two families with the Admirals.
“I’ve tried to preach that for many years,” says the head coach, “I don’t want it to be over the last day that they play here, I want them to learn values in the program that carry on through the rest of their life.”
For Courtney, it is not just a culture he creates, but also, “football is family” in the literal sense as his son Geoff coaches alongside him.
Geoff grew up around Farragut football. Holding the position as a water boy, then ball boy and eventually playing for his dad in the navy and grey. Geoff was a walk-on at the University of Tennessee and developed his passion for coaching. In 2010, Geoff joined his father at Farragut and worked his way as the quarterback coach and offensive coordinator — following a similar path his father did.
As Eddie stands proudly next to his son he admits,”It’s been great for me… because seeing him grow up and take some reins and seeing him do the daily things it takes to coach… he’s done a great job with it.”
Like his dad, Geoff developed a true passion for coaching at a young age, a direct product of growing up through Farragut football. The OC says coaching is a life calling and is an important part of his life that he hopes to continue for years to come — just like his dad.
But the Courtneys are not the only father-son coaching duo at Farragut.
Patrick Doucette, the offensive line coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach, like Geoff, grew up around Admiral football.
Tom Doucette is the defensive line and strength and conditioning coach at Farragut, and brought his sons to practices and games as young kids. Tom remembers Patrick at practices as a baby in a stroller, being pushed on the sidelines during football practice. As he grew older, “Patty” too was a water boy, ball boy and went on to play for the Admirals under his dad.
Patrick also followed in his father’s footsteps, playing collegiately then pursuing coaching. For Tom, having his son coach for the same team is “great, you can’t dream anything better.”
Patrick truly enjoys coaching alongside his dad. Since Patrick coaches the O-line and Tom the D-line, there is always friendly competition fueled between the two, which in return fuels competition amongst the players.
Coaching as father and son for the same team also has its perks as Patrick says they bounce ideas off of each other. Having played in college just three years ago, Patrick brings new ideas to the table that his dad “who has an old-school way” of looking at the game can benefit from.
But the best part of working with his dad, Patrick notes, is just getting to spend more time with him.
As for this upcoming season, Eddie Courtney says they should know more about the status of the season after the dead period starting Monday.
The effects of COVID-19 on the season are also still unknown.
For now, the team will continue to prepare for the season as if it will be played, while taking the necessary safety precautions such as one coach per ten players, groups spread out across school grounds, extra sanitary measures, temperature checks etc.
A few weeks back, there was concern of COVID-19 for Farragut football as a player’s friend tested positive for the novel virus. The student-athlete who had been around that person, along with a few others who may have been exposed, quarantined for the required 14-day period and returned back this week according to Eddie Courtney.
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