Tom Patton, Longtime Jenkins Coach, Resigned Friday
Fri. August 24, 2012 at 5:22 p.m. | By Solange Reyner
George Jenkins High School Baseball Head Coach Tom Patton gives signs from the dugout against Ridge Community High School during the 7th inning of their Class 7A, District 7 tournament game at Henley Field in Lakeland Monday afternoon. George Jenkins High School won the game 8-1. April 23, 2012. (Photo by The Ledger/Michael Wilson)
LAKELAND | Tom Patton, the longtime baseball coach at George Jenkins, resigned from his position Friday so he could spend more time with his family. In his 13 years at Jenkins, Patton had two teams make it to the regional finals. His team finished 19-9 last year with a regional quarterfinal showing in Class 7A and his shortstop, Dylan Allen, was named the PolkPreps.com Player of the Year in the sport.
Patton was named the assistant principal at Jenkins on August 1, a promotion that also weighed into his decision to step away from his duties as head baseball coach.
"The moment that it hit me [that I had to step down] was when I outside throwing a ball to my son and he hit a ball and I got a rush of excitement – excitement I hadn't felt in a while," said Patton, who has a five year old son and a four year old daughter. He said his son will start playing T-Ball this year and he wanted to be there to coach him.
"I'm not going to be that dad who coaches other people's kids. I'm going to be involved in the lives of my own."
Jim Kilborn, an assistant coach on the baseball team at Jenkins for eight seasons, will replace Patton. He played at Jenkins under Patton and was a member of his first district championship team.
"Everything fell in line for me," Patton said. "The AP job, my kids playing, Jimmy being ready, everything was just perfect."