Coach’s Corner: Getting to know Coach Todd McGee
By David Shirley
“AHS is a great place to teach and work,” were Coach Todd McGee’s thoughts on being in Adamsville. “We all treat each other like family. I have had folks put out feelers to me to determine if I had interest in other jobs, but I haven’t ever considered leaving AHS.”
McGee was born and raised in Lexington, Ala. where he attended Lexington High School. Todd played baseball, basketball and football, graduating in 1984.
Next stop for Todd was Northwest Alabama Junior College in Phil Campbell, Ala., where he continued to play baseball. He continued his baseball career next while studying at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Ala.
McGee received his degree in Math Education from Athens State in Athens, Ala. in 1992.
First stop in his teaching/coaching career was at Hardin County High School in 1992, followed by stints at Lauderdale County, Ala., Collinwood, Tenn. and Memphis Catholic.
Todd finally found a home at AHS in 1998 and was in his current positions of Head Coach in Girls’ Softball and Girls’ Basketball by 1999. McGee currently teaches Algebra 1.
McGee, 45, resides just outside Savannah in the Mt. Herman community with his wife since 1995, Carma, an attorney, and children Sarah Beth, 8, and Caleb, 7.
Sarah Beth is involved in gymnastics, basketball and softball while Caleb plays baseball and basketball.
Todd’s free time is spent with his family, coaching his kids in sports, playing golf and buying and selling football tickets for both college and professional football games.
We next asked Coach McGee several rapid fire questions as follows:
Q. When did you know you wanted to coach?
A. In ninth or tenth grade in high school. I had some really good coaches and I just thought coaching would continue to give me a connection to sports.
Q. Who inspired you to get in to coaching?
A. Three of my high school coaches; Coach Wayne Bailey who actually tried to talk me out of becoming a coach, Coach Billy Snyder and Coach J.T. Weeks.
Q. Who have been the most influential people in your life?
A. My parents, Jimmy and Betty McGee. They pushed me in the right direction and told me things would not always go the way I wanted them to. They put me in a position to succeed and made it possible for me to participate in sports.
Q. Do you try to emulate any other coaches?
A. Not really. You have to do what works for you and be your own person. I have picked up a little bit from a whole lot of folks. You have to be consistent in the way you treat people and players.
Q. What role do you think coaches play in the lives of young people today?
A. A lot of times during the season we see the kids more than they see their families. You need to be there for the kids. With some kids leaving each season and a new group coming on board, it is almost like you get a whole new family every year.
Q. What is your favorite thing about coaching?
A. Winning a big game. Seeing my players succeed. Seeing the excitement on the court/field and in the stands when the team has a big moment. Crowd involvement is huge.
Q. What is your least favorite thing about coaching?
A. Time away from my family.
Q. What is your most memorable moment in your coaching career up till now?
A. In 2001 when we went to my first state tournament in softball. I knew we were pretty good, but it took a while to sink in. In 2007-2008 we won the District Tournament in basketball.
Q. If you could spend an evening with any three people on earth, past or present, who would it be and why?
A. Bear Bryant-He was always able to win whether he had the best talent or not. He was hardnosed but his players respected him.
John Wooden-To get a different perspective on things. He was always calm and cool but he had an amazing career as a coach.
My late cousin Dennis McGee-We used to go deep-sea fishing and had a lot of good times. He was my closest cousin, and his father was my closest uncle.
Q. What advice would you give to others considering a career in coaching?
A. It would be an excellent decision if you are willing to put in the time it requires. The teaching side of it comes first, and it gets more difficult each year. A few of the girls I coach told me they want to teach and coach-I told them to be sure that is what they want to do.