HomeNewsBowling called to lead TCA football program

Bowling called to lead TCA football program

Darren Bowling knows how to win.

As the head football coach at Union City High School, he led the Golden Tornadoes to four state championships in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2017. He also won a pair of state championships before moving to Tennessee while coaching at Silliman High School in the Baton Rouge, La., area.

When he was a high school athlete at Greenville Christian School in Mississippi, he was a part of state championship teams in baseball, football and track and field before going on to compete collegiately as a track athlete.

But he said none of that came up in conversations between himself and the hiring committee at Trinity Christian Academy before he was named as their new head football coach last week, bringing a career record of 231-104 with him.

“And that really impressed me,” Bowling said. “Because other schools I’ve interviewed with in the past have talked about winning state championships and what it will take to win and what will we do to win at their school … none of that ever came up in any meetings here at TCA.”

So what did come up?

“They wanted to know about my character and my motivation in coaching and leading the young men who are a part of this program,” Bowling said. “That showed me that I’m sure TCA wants to win games and compete for championships, but they’re more concerned with the character of people they have leading their student-athletes. That said a lot to me.”

Having been educated in a Christian school and even begun his coaching career at his alma mater right after college, he said he’d always wanted to be a head coach at a Christian school before he stops coaching.

“I’ve always wanted to do something to where I could give back, and I hoped God would call me to do something along those lines,” Bowling said.

Bowling, who left Union City in 2020 and coached at Olive Branch, Miss., for a year before spending the last two seasons coaching at Murray High in Kentucky, said his wife was the one who told him about the job that came open at TCA in February when former coach Blake Butler announced his resignation to go to Evangelical Christian School in Memphis.

“I came home from work a few weeks ago, and my wife asked me, ‘What’s the one thing you want to do before you stop coaching?’” Bowling said. “It took me a minute to get to where she was trying to get me to in the conversation, but that’s when she told me she’d heard this job had come open.

“So we prayed about it and felt led to apply and see what God thought should happen for both my family and the football program here.”

TCA Athletic Director Dexter Williams told the players when he introduced them to their new coach Thursday morning that he felt Bowling was the coach God was calling TCA to hire.

“He’s a Christian man who leads his young men not only to success on the football field but in life as well,” Williams said. “And I believe God has called him here to TCA, and he’s called us at TCA to bring him here for you guys and for this entire school.”

While Bowling’s teams at Union City were known offensively for their triple-option scheming that saw them pass the ball very few times over the course of a season (fewer than 20 passes thrown most seasons), Bowling assured the players and the coaching staff that he wasn’t coming in with plans of bringing immediate drastic changes to the Xs and Os philosophy.

“I just met with the coaches and told them this right before we came in here,” Bowling said. “Your offensive coordinator will continue to be your offensive coordinator. Same with defense.

“Some coaches believe you win with Xs and Os. Some coaches believe you win with Jacks and Joes. I think you win with both of those, but those Jacks and Joes need heart and soul to win. And I hope we’ll have that here and can see success on and off the field working together.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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