TRANSITION TO COACHING: Opp hires former arena player to coach d-line

Published 12:05 am Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Opp City School’s Board of Education approved the hire of Dimetrio Tyson on Tuesday as the defensive line coach for the Bobcats’ football team.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to come to Opp and learn from the other coaches over here,” Tyson said. “We have a good group of talented young men that are eager to learn and grow.”

Tyson was a 2008 graduate from Elba High School before going on to play college football at Jacksonville State.

“I played at Jacksonville State and then went to rookie mini camp with the Dallas Cowboys after I graduated,” Tyson said. “After I got cut, I went and played in the Canadian Football League.”

While coming home for a visit, a trip to Elba High School helped him land his first coaching job.

“I came home after I got let go in Canada and decided to go workout at the high school,” Tyson said. “While I was there, Coach Rigby came up to me and asked me to come back the next day because he thought the kids would enjoy having me around and that I could teach them something.”

That encounter is what sparked his coaching career, but Tyson still wasn’t done living his dream of playing professionally.

“The best part about coaching at Elba was that I was able to live two dreams at one time,” Tyson said. “I was playing in the Arena Football League and coaching at the same time. It was great that it worked out like that.”

Tyson played two seasons in the AFL for the San Jose Sabercats and the Arizona Rattlers. The Sabercats won the championship in the season he played for them and the Rattlers made it to the championship game the season he played for them.

Recently, Tyson decided to walk away from playing and focus on coaching.

“Anytime an athlete gets ready to retire, it can be hard to walk away,” Tyson said. “It was hard to walk away from playing, but it’s easier knowing that I’m walking into something that I love.”

For Tyson, coaching is something he is passionate about.

“I love being around the kids,” Tyson said. “I want to teach them about the game, but I also want to teach them about life. I want to help instill confidence in these young men. I’m excited that Coach (Brent) Hill gave me the opportunity to come to Opp and learn from him and Coach (Mike) Dubose. These coaches want to be winners, but at the same time, they want to see these young men grow up to be productive members of society. I’m very excited to get in this school system. Hopefully, I can make a positive impact. I want the kids to take something positive from every day. It doesn’t have to be anything big, just take something positive from every day.”