Anthony Dillon

Anthony Dillon

Coach: Anthony Dillon

School: North Forrest High School

Years coaching:

WDAM: How do you motivate your team each time before they hit the field?

Dillon: In preparation for Friday night's game, my coaching staff and I have ongoing motivational quotes, sayings and chants that we refer to throughout the week. We also use stats and featured articles (from the newspaper) from the previous games to motivate the players to work harder. Motivation on Friday is always encouragement to give it their all and leave it all on the field.

WDAM: What is your proudest moment as a football coach and why?

Dillon: My proudest moment as a coach thus far would undeniably be the night of my Grandmother's wake. On this particular Friday night, I was up doing pre-game talk with my entire team; as I was wrapping up, my players stood, huddled around me and assured me that they were going to get a victory that night. They expressed to me that they were honored and appreciative of the fact that I chose to coach them that night despite the sadness that was tugging at my heart. At that moment, I knew that I was coaching up a great group of humble, respectable young men. Rightfully so, we won the game with 38 seconds left due to a missed field goal and the players presented me with the game ball.

WDAM: What are you looking forward to this season with your players?

Dillon: This season I am looking forward to my players eliminating mental mistakes, executing on the field and overcoming adversity. As an "Eagle Nation," we are all looking for more wins this season.

WDAM: Do you have a motto for your team? If so, what is it and how did you come up with it?

Dillon: The motto for my team is "Tough Times Don't Last Long, Tough People Do." This motto was quoted numerous times throughout my college football career by my coaches, and has stuck with me from early adulthood to present. This motto can be incorporated into all aspects of life, and it goes to show that you may encounter some hard times, but only the strong survive the tests put before them.

WDAM: How do you gain trust and motivate your players?

Dillon: I gain trust and motivate my players by spending time with them and supporting them at other activities.

WDAM: Who is your greatest role model either personally or as a coach? Why?

Dillon: My greatest role model is my former high school coach, the legendary Leslie Peters. Coach Peters was a great role model to me because he exemplified characteristics of a father on and off the football field. Because of the relationship, trust and mutual understanding that Coach Peters and I possess, I followed in his footsteps and attended Jackson State University, and became a coach. I hope to one day be an inspiration and/or have an impact on a child as much as he has had on me.

WDAM: What mistakes have you made in your coaching career and how have you been able to learn from those mistakes?

Dillon: As I reflect back on my coaching career, I believe that the misuse of timeouts has been one of my weaknesses. I've learned that it is critical to only use timeouts when absolutely necessary.

WDAM: What are some ways you help your players off the field?

Dillon: I help my players off the field by doing team-building activities, taking them on college tours and attending different churches in the neighboring communities.

WDAM: How do you plan on improving as a coach from year to year?

Dillon: I plan on improving as a coach from year to year by attending coaching clinics, staying abreast to current trends and the newest schemes in football and adding more wins to the win column.

WDAM: How has coaching affected your life?

Dillon: Coaching is a major part of my life; however, it is very time-consuming. Coaching does not end when the season ends; there is always work to be done. It is challenging trying to tackle being a coach, a father and a husband. Thankfully, my wife is very understanding and supportive. She maintains the house and the kids and is at every game to support me.

NOTE: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.