Coach: Lee Sullivan
School: Forrest County Agricultural High School
Years coaching: 35 years counting his first year as a student coach. This will be Sullivan's 18th year at FCAHS and third year as head coach.
WDAM: How do you motivate your team each time before they hit the field?
Sullivan: Team thought of the week and usually a scripture. Team prayer, and let’s go!
WDAM: What is your proudest moment as a football coach and why?
Sullivan: Seeing different players through the years make it to the next level and are successful. We as high school coaches are trying to teach our players more than being football players, but being successful men in society and having a good life!
WDAM: What are you looking forward to this season with your players?
Sullivan: I'm looking forward to them playing as a team, doing their very best and playing until the last horn sounds.
WDAM: Do you have a motto for your team? If so, what is it and how did you come up with it?
Sullivan: Our team motto is All for One! Also, watching the film “Woodlawn.” I want our team to play for something besides themselves!
WDAM: How do you gain trust and motivate your players?
Sullivan: Firm but fair, by doing what you say and saying what you do!
WDAM: Who is your greatest role model either personally or as a coach? Why?
Sullivan: My high school English teacher, Helen Barnes. She was firm in expecting nothing but your best and treated all her students equally and fairly.
WDAM: What mistakes have you made in your coaching career and how have you been able to learn from those mistakes?
Sullivan: We could second guess everything we do. I’ve called a pass when I think it should have been a run. I’ve let a player stay on the team and maybe should not have or put one off when I should have kept them. We make decisions each day with players, coaches, parents, friends and family that affect them all. I pray that I personally can live with each decision and that I’m fair. We can’t always be right and if wrong decisions don’t kill us, I hope they make us better!
WDAM: What are some ways you help your players off the field?
Sullivan: We encourage our players to do their best in school, at home and in their communities. We want them to be an example to those around them by being good students, having good character and trying to be a good example to others.
WDAM: How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year?
Sullivan: I plan to do a better job with PR, teaching my players and coaches and doing my job in the classroom.
WDAM: How has coaching affected your life?
Sullivan: I have made many good friends with other coaches, ex-players and parents. Coaching has helped me appreciate life!
NOTE: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.