Continuity. That’s what Jason Trousdale brings to the Union Pines football program.
The associate head coach and defensive coordinator for the team over the last two seasons was approved as the new Union Pines football coach Monday night by the Moore County Schools Board of Education.
“I think the familiarity of me being around the program, being around the kids, learning more about the community was a big factor,” Trousdale said.
“I think the fact that now it will be my third year here, it might resonate too that I had another opportunity to coach somewhere else and I decided to stay here. You’ve got a lot of good kids coming back. Obviously, the conference is one of the top conferences in the whole state of North Carolina. I think we’ve got to stack good days on good days.”
Trousdale met with a group of more than 40 students Tuesday at the school for his formal introduction to those wishing to play next season.
When the football team opens the season this fall, the senior class will play for its third different head coach in the last four seasons. Trousdale came to Union Pines two years ago and has been on the coaching staff the entire time.
This season will be Trousdale’s first season as a head football coach in North Carolina after last serving as the head coach at Weedsport High School in New York from 2005 to 2008.
After his head coaching stint there, Trousdale went to serve as an offensive coordinator at Port Byron High School and East Syracuse Minoa High School in New York before coming to North Carolina.
“Even though I was the associate head coach, defensive coordinator here, I’m actually more of an offensive guy,” Trousdale said. “That’s why I’m handing the reins over to Coach (Dylan) Thomas. Obviously, I’ll have a little say in what we do because I’m the head coach, but I’m going to trust him that he’s going to be able to do a good job.”
Thomas, as well as offensive coaches Ryan Giggey, Dillon Moon and Antuion Ray will stay on staff to bring further familiarity for Union Pines through the transition.
“They want to be here so that was an easy sell for them,” Trousdale said.
He now takes over a new challenge at a familiar place as Union Pines will join a new split 3A/4A conference with some perennial powers like Richmond, Scotland, Pinecrest and Lee County.
“The fact that I’ve been around the game, this is my 20th year as a coach, I have a knowledge of where to attack,” he said. “Their key players and their key plays the team runs offensively and how they are going to line up defensively, we are going to be able to formation teams and find out how to attack accordingly.”
To prepare for the new conference, Trousdale said the team must join together and be more dedicated in the weight room and during practice as there’s a challenging opponent each week.
He even said that dedication in the weight room could also mean that the team might not even touch a football in the summer months looking to get stronger and faster to compete with the new competition.
“We’re in a good spot. I think the kids will buy in. But as anything, when you go into a realignment and have a new conference, you’re going to have to be prepared every week. There’s no easy games in a conference like that,” he said.
Trousdale takes over for former coach Lonnie Cox, who resigned at the end of the season. He said he is thankful to the school's administration, including principal Andy McCormick, for selecting him for this job. Trousdale also said he is thankful for the support at home from his wife, Amy, and daughters, Stella and Kennedy.
Contact Jonathan Bym at (910) 693-2470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.