JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's been a lot of hard work and then a bit of history for Tammie Talley.
Talley, the Duval County Public Schools district athletic director, was named the president of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association late last month, the first time in the organization’s history that the group has been led by a female.
Talley served in the first vice president role last year under president Steve Ripley. Moving up to the top position was a long time in the making, Talley said, the result of hard work and gaining respect of her colleagues through the years.
FACA was founded in 1936 by coaches around the state and is on pace to have 5,800 members in the 2019-20 school year. Among some of its objectives, FACA gives a voice to its coaches, helps present state all-star events across multiple sports and conducts coaching clinics throughout the year.
“I really didn’t even realize it because there are a lot of women coaches, but until you’re involved in the administrative side of it, you don’t realize that there’s never been a female president,” she said. “So, it’s exciting. It’s definitely an honor. I’d like to think that I’m the president because the hard work that I do, and I just happen to be a female.”
Talley began her career with Duval County Public Schools in 1992 at Paxon and wound up working her way up to the athletic director position at Mandarin, a position that she spent 14 years in. She succeeded Jon Fox as the Duval County district athletic director in 2012.
Fox garnered numerous accolades with the FACA and was an inductee into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2012. Fox was one of the forces behind numerous initiatives on the First Coast, including the Save Our Sports drive that helped raise funds — and awareness — to help stave off the elimination of select sports due to budget pitfalls.
“I was very lucky to be on the committee to help select her,” said First Coast football coach and athletic director Marty Lee. “It’s good for the FACA; it’s never had a female leader and she’s a good one. Times are changing. She’s very open-minded, not closed-minded on things. She’s willing to listen to you. She’s a good role model, the way she treats kids.”
Talley has forged her own path in athletics and said that her goals won’t change in a larger role during her one-year term. Having been a part of the organization since the mid-1990s, Talley said that her mission remains the same.
“I feel like I want to promote the good things that Duval County does across the state of Florida and just get more members involved in being a part of an organization that teaches them to be a better coach and not worry about those outside factors like negativity,” she said.
Talley becomes the 16th person with area ties to be named FACA president, with some of those names among heavyweights in First Coast sports history. Some of those former presidents: Raines’ James Day, Englewood’s Don Jarrett, St. Augustine football coach Joey Wiles and Middleburg’s David Wilson.
Area past presidents of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association, their year of service and tie to the area:
2019-20: Tammie Talley, Duval County
2010-11: Jim Donovan, Lee
2007-08: Wilson Edwards, Palatka
2002-03: J.W. Seymour, Wolfson
2003-04: Joey Wiles, St. Augustine
1995-96: Jim McCool, Palatka
1990-91: James Day, Raines
1987-88: David Wilson, Middleburg
1979-80: Bill Bennett, Palatka
1974-75: Jack Taylor, Fletcher
1967-68: Don Jarrett, Englewood
1956-57: Carey E. McDonald, Callahan
1950-51: Warren Kirkham, Lee
1951-52: Ish W. Brant, Fletcher
1938-39: George Trogdon, Landon
1936-37: A.P. Pierson, Ketterlinus
Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.