By Adam Brown
The day Tim Carter landed a coaching job with the Oxford High School Chargers in 1995 is one he’ll never forget.
On the day he made the drive from his house in New Hope, Mississippi to Oxford twice, his first interview stop was in Commodore territory. The second he got to Oxford High School, though, Carter knew it felt like home. The cherry on top? He would get to coach alongside his high school coach, Robert Youngblood.
“A friend of mine was the principal (at Lafayette) and he called me about a job, and I interviewed with them. I drove all the way back home, walked in the door and my wife said the phone was for me. It was Coach Youngblood. He fussed at me for coming to Lafayette County and not letting him know that I was in town so he could interview me for a job. I got back in the car and drove back to Oxford,” Carter said.
Carter was offered a defensive coach position for football, as well as the head soccer coaching job and powerlifting coach. Mentoring athletes soon became the light of his life as he and Youngblood tag-teamed coaching.
For Carter, getting to coach alongside his high school coach that he played under at Caldwell High School in Columbus was very special and something he will always cherish.
“Getting to coach with Coach Youngblood was a dream come true,” he said. “I played for him and I respected him. I knew that he knew more football than most people had forgotten… it was a great opportunity to learn the game some more.”
During his tenure as the soccer coach alongside his assistant coach (now OSD superintendent) Brian Harvey, he led the program to the state championship back-to-back years in 1996-1997.
“We took the soccer program to the state championship round two years in a row,” Carter said. “That’s the first time that Oxford had been in the playoffs.” Carter said he’ll never forget the team that made it to the 4A state playoffs.
He roamed the sidelines for two seasons as the head football coach for Oxford starting in 1998 after Youngblood retired. The Chargers had a great group of players on the gridiron with quarterback Richard Cross, Kerry Johnson (who went on to play at Ole Miss), Ty Freeman, Kendall Hale, Justin Murphree.
“We just had such a great group of young men,” Carter said.
One of the biggest games that stands out to Carter besides the annual Crosstown Classic was the first round of the playoffs against the Hernando Tigers. Oxford won and it propelled them into the second round.
“We moved up to the second round with that win,” Carter said. “Cross had a huge night as he led his team in the third quarter from a halftime deficit.”
For Carter, a big reason why he coached was to be able to instill in students not only the game of football but life lessons.
“That is why I coached – to teach them to succeed in life through the game of football,” he said. “That was the most fulfilling part for me was to be able to work with young men, get to know them and know their challenges. Know their success and just try to show them how to succeed in life through the meaning of athletics.”
Now retired, Carter finds himself working with the school districts as a school safety consultant.
“I go in and help schools assess their facilities, and presently I’m working with Columbia School District as their chief operations officer on a part-time basis,” he said.
The (Columbia) school district is currently building a new athletic facility, and Carter is in charge of all the development of that facility.