TO SAY that East Jackson is getting a highly-qualified and involved cross country and track and field coach would be quite the understatement.
Tomy Sitton comes to East Jackson with a gaudy résumé that includes nine state championships and 26 years of experience – much of that at larger schools in Gwinnett County – as well as numerous other honors.
“I feel like it’s a different type of challenge, and I look forward to it,”
Sitton said of coming to East Jackson. “I think it’s a promising challenge, and I can get back into more hands-on coaching.”
Sitton, who last coached at Peachtree Ridge in 2010, has coached over 35 individual state champions and earned 17 state coach-of-the-year awards over the years between boys’ and girls’ track and cross country from the state’s coaching organization and the Atlanta Track Club.
Sitton became the youngest coach in Georgia to win a state title when his 1984 Greater Atlanta Christian boys’ team won the Class A cross country championship that year. He went on to win most of his state titles in Brookwood, where he worked for 15 years.
Sitton will take over cross country duties at East Jackson for long-time coach Bob Roller (who worked for 13 years in the county) and will work closely with coach Steve Collins in track and field as he heads up that program as well.
“I will be working with coach Collins and look forward to working together,” Sitton said.
Prior to his prolific coaching career, Sitton enjoyed a highly-successful running career in his own right in the 1970s and 1980s. He won three state titles in the 800 meters at Greater Atlanta Christian and set state records his junior and senior seasons in 1977 and 1978. His mark stood for 17 years. Sitton went on to a stellar college career from 1978-1982, becoming an all-conference and all-district runner at Harding University in Arkansas.
In addition to his coaching merits, Sitton has also been a regular contributor to track and field and cross country at the state, national and international levels.
He’s served as president of the Track/Cross Country Coaches of Georgia and started the Track/Cross country Coaches of Georgia Hall of Fame inductions for athletes and coaches. He also sits on the United State’s Track United States Track and Field’s national men’s executive long distance running committee. Sitton even coached the USA Elite men’s team to a bronze medal in Japan at Chiba Ekinden International Championships in 2005 (three of which became participants in the 2008 Olympic Games).
He’s also been involved in several clinics, directed multiple meets and served as a state official.
East Jackson hopes that vast knowledge and experience will lead to big things for the 2011-2012 school year and beyond. Sitton has already met with his new East Jackson teams, and the school will hold voluntary running sessions three times a week this summer as Sitton’s new charges prep for year one under his watch.
“Hopefully they’ll work hard and perform well this year,” Sitton said.