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Farmington hires veteran Tice as its next football coach

Farmington hires veteran Tice as its next football coach


Tommy Tice was excited to coach football again, and Farmington is ready to give the veteran such an opportunity.

The 72-year-old Tice, who coached football at Huntsville and Harrison for a combined 42 years, was named Farmington's new head coach during a special school board meeting on Monday. Tice will replace JR Eldridge, who announced his resignation last month to enter the private business world.

It sounds great, Tice said. I'm excited and it sounds great to be coaching football again. Farmington is a place that values ​​athletics as much as I do, and I can't wait to be a part of it. Football has never left me.

I was still going to Friday night games, and I was fortunate enough to be able to hang out at the University of Arkansas, and coach Sam Pittman was kind enough to let me. I was writing some things down, whether it was for a book or not, I don't know, but then I realized I had missed this stuff. When Beau Thompson (Farmington Athletic Director) called me about it, I was so excited.

Tice enters the 2024 season with the opportunity to add to his state record of 453 games coached, which he compiled during his 13 years at Huntsville and 29 years at Harrison. His 289 career wins ranked him third among U.S. high school coaches, just 12 behind runner-up Mike Malham of Cabot, and he led Harrison to its only state championship in 1999.

His last year as coach was at Huntsville in 2015, but he remained with the school as athletic director for two more years before retiring.

Coach Tice comes to us with a long and successful career in high school football in Arkansas, Farmington Superintendent Jon Laffoon said in a news release. We look forward to the future of our football program and the many positives his experience will bring to our district.

Tice will inherit a team that tied Shiloh Christian for the 5A-West title at 6-1 in league play last fall while finishing 7-4 overall. The Cardinals will return rising junior quarterback Ayden Lester and rising senior Luke Elsik, who was the team's leading rusher and receiver with 667 yards on 121 carries and 375 yards on 28 receptions.

Tice will be able to spend some time with his new team as Farmington still has three spring practices remaining, including Thursday night's spring game. While some may think the Cardinals may be in a rush to get things done this offseason, Tice doesn't think that's the case.

It's really not a bad time to come in because football now goes on 365 days a year, he said. Coach Eldridge left the team in good standing with the players and assistants, and I was able to see them a few times last year. We have this time where they can evaluate me and I can evaluate them.

To come in there and make radical changes would be a mistake. It will be a slow process at first, but it will become a matter of them trusting me and me trusting them.




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