Coach Tommy Owen passed away on June 30,2010 in Levine-Dickson Hospice House in Huntersville, NC. He was 78.
Coach Owen (shown above, on the left) began his tenure at Fairmont High School in August, 1963. He served as Athletic Director, head football coach, head basketball coach and golf coach through the 1966-67 school year. Additionally, he taught PE, drivers education and was guidance counselor.
Though his football teams lacked size and blazing speed, they posted records of 6-4, 8-2, 8-2 and 6-3-1. His last two basketball teams marked the beginning of the strong basketball tradition that still remains today, going 17-5 and 22-4 during those seasons. He organized and coached FHS’s first golf team in the spring of 1966.
Those are the facts but they don’t tell the whole story. He enjoyed his players and tried to be aware of what was going on in their lives. If you had a problem you could always talk to Coach about it and not worry about it becoming public. He kept his promises and honored his commitments.
Many of us who knew him remember his love of Johnny Mathis music. I believe that he had every album that Johnny made and he sang along with Johnny before and after practice each day. At his memorial service on July 10 the prelude music and recessional was, fittingly, Johnny Mathis music.
Thanks, coach, for teaching me to drive responsibly. Thanks for teaching me how to tape an ankle. Thanks for teaching me how to organize and prioritize. Thanks for teaching all of us in Fairmont how a winner is supposed to conduct himself.
Rest in Peace.