Coaches Corner: Getting to know Coach Steve Forsythe
By Amanda Lowrance
Steve Forsythe is a native of McNairy County, born and raised by Jetta and Robbie Forsythe.
“My parents are Godly people,” said Forsythe. “They taught me to put Jesus first in my life and follow his guidance.”
Steve is a 1982 graduate of McNairy Central High School, third in his class.
“I married Tammy Carlin in 1984 and she is my anchor,” said Forsythe. “I couldn’t do this without her support.”
The Forsythe’s have two children who are recent graduates of McNairy Central as well. Nathan graduated in 2008 and Katie, the youngest, graduated in the spring of 2011.
“Kids today don’t have to work on the farm or in the log woods,” said Forsythe. “We need to teach them the value of working hard and always doing their best.”
“My grandparents were farmers and working on the farm inspired me to want to go to college,” said Forsythe.
“Hot days and long hours will make you realize that there other ways to make a living.”
A short time away from home at Memphis State University, Steve graduated in 1986 with a Bachelors of Business Administration.
Four years in the banking industry at United American Bank in Memphis and the Community Bank in Germantown sent him back to school in 1992 for a Masters of Arts in Education.
He began his teaching career at Michie Elementary School and coached boys’ basketball for 14 years, while coaching the girls’ team for eight years and the softball team for five.
As a newbie in sports, Forsythe found his coaching inspiration from Bill Chambers of Ramer Elementary School in Junior High basketball and football.
“I always thought he was tough on us but fair to everybody,” said Forsythe. “He always showed up at practice with a smile on his face and a lot of energy.”
After junior high, Steve played basketball at McNairy Central for coaches Paul Wilkerson, Bob Ingle, Doug Lambert, and James Horton.
He played high school baseball for Coach Danny Day and also competed during the summer.
Forsythe made a move about five years ago to the high school level at McNairy Central in the Health and Physical Education Department.
He is a former assistant coach of the Lady Bobcat Softball team and currently the head coach of the Bobcat Basketball team.
“I love the players,” said Forsythe. “I love the game of basketball, but it is for the kids that I do this job.”
“I love the interaction with them, and hopefully I am instilling some of the same traits in them that my coaches and parents have instilled in me.”
Several players have moved on to the college level under Coach Forsythe.
Coached at the junior high and high school level, Ken Bingham went to Three Rivers and Freed Hardeman, Jarmael Bingham went to Dyersburg State and Blue Mountain, Samantha Burns and Chris Whitten went to Blue Mountain, and Logan Chappell went to Dyersburg State and Arkansas Baptist.
Blue Mountain graduate Andrea Whitten, current coach of the Michie Lady Blue Devil basketball team, was on the first girls’ team Forsythe had ever coached.
“I believe people know us by how we act and talk,” said Forsythe.
“Proverbs 20:11 states that ‘Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.’ One of my goals is to help these young men become known as quality individuals and not just basketball players.”