Q&A: Marvin Ridge Athletics Director Tom Jamerson

Hannah Dockery/UCW photo

Hannah Dockery/UCW photo

Tom Jamerson, the new athletics director at Marvin Ridge, began his duties on July 28, replacing Kevin Allran who was at the school for one year. Jamerson brings experience to the Maverick family after six years at Charlotte Christian as well as an extensive corporate career in mortgage banking.

While at Christian, Jamerson led 50 teams, supervised a staff of over 80 coaches and helped lead the Knights to four state championships with over 60 student-athletes signing to play at the collegiate level.

The Union County Weekly sat down with Jamerson to discuss his new role as the Mavericks’ athletics director.

Q: What’s your background and experience as an athletics director?

A: I grew up in Ohio and was always passionate about sports. I certainly played a lot of sports growing up and played basketball at Ohio University. I always wanted to be in sports administration but after college I spent six years in mortgage banking and had a lucrative career; I ran our largest branch and internal audit department but always felt like something was missing…. I realized I loved high school athletics, because it has three things that I’m passionate about – working with students, sports and then the business side of leading an organization. 

There was a school where I coached a few kids at summer camp and soon become the first athletics director at the school. We got good really quickly. It was a small setting and I ended up transitioning to Wheaton Academy, which is 150 years old and one of the best private schools in the country… After that, an opportunity arose at Charlotte Christian and I was ready to move south after 22 straight days in the winter with no sunshine.  I was done with that. I was at Charlotte Christian for six years and we had one of the greatest six-year runs in the history of our school. Football, baseball, basketball at Christian are as good as any in the Southeast. We also had a strategic plan to focus on girls sports because they weren’t getting the attention they needed. We elevated the girls sports program to the highest it had ever been at the school. 

Q: What led you to accept the athletics director position at Marvin Ridge?

A: After Charlotte Christian, I took a step back for a year and did software sales for a sports management company but really just missed Friday nights, honestly. I missed seeing students grow, seeing the coaches and having an influence and impact on the community. I was ready to come back and have always heard nothing but good things about Marvin Ridge. I actually verballed on a job in Florida but when this opportunity came up, I knew it was a perfect fit and I love the area and wasn’t looking to leave Charlotte. 

Q: How will your experiences in the private-school setting transition to athletics in a public school?

A: I grew up in a public school. My parents were both public school teachers for 30 years. The switch to public school isn’t a big deal because I know public school more than I know private school. My coaches and I used to talk about things that we missed that we had growing up – marching band and the fact that every team in the community could be part of a program because you’re one community. 

I’ve always thought Marvin Ridge was a gold mine, even when we played them at Christian. There are unbelievable levels of talent and depth, great coaches and a passionate and committed fan base. You look at the facilities and resources and I was just thrilled when I got the call to interview. 

Q: What are you most excited about for the upcoming school year and your first year at Marvin Ridge?

A: I’m excited for the leadership with Mrs. (Donna) Cook, our principal. She’s excited and passionate about Marvin Ridge and she knows everyone here and everyone knows her. Every person I’ve encountered has been so welcoming. I’m in day five here and I already feel like a part of the Marvin Ridge family, which is really exciting and encouraging. 

But it’s not a regular AD job here, it’s a machine and you have to have the business side of things. I’m excited about that, the talent and the experience and passion our coaches have. We’re thrilled to have Coach (Brad) Hoover with football this season and really all the coaches here are incredible. The community is excited about the school, our teams and they know we’ll continue to compete for state championships in every sport. At the end of the day, it’s a great day to be at Marvin Ridge High School. It really is. 

Q: What are your short-term and long-term plans for Marvin Ridge?

A: The first thing I want to do is meet everyone. I want to get to know coaches. They’ve been here a long time and know how to run their programs and I want to get to know them. 

Long term, I have a few ideas. I think that we need a field house. We have so many athletes here and we need space for them. We also need a turf field. Having the success of the booster club and the passion of the community, those are things that would help add value to what we’re doing here. 

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Hannah Chronis

About Hannah Chronis

Hannah is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and covers sports in Union County and south Charlotte. She joined the Carolina Weekly family in September 2013 and loves the thrill of covering high school athletics. Follow her on Twitter @hannah4ucw

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