AAASP Coaches Spotlight 2024

Meet Our Amazing AAASP Coaches in our Coaches’ Spotlight

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Coach Anna Henry

Anna Henry is a Health/PE teacher at Langston Road Elementary in the Houston County School System. She has been a coach for six years, with the Houston County Sharks.

“Christy Jones and Stephen Roberson asked if I would be interested in coaching after two other coaches retired/left the system, so I decided to join the program,” said Henry.

Her favorite moment coaching so far has been watching kids who never dreamed of being on a sports team become amazing athletes!

Her advice for athletes… “Always work as a family unit—talk through plays, drills, etc, ALWAYS hold your head up—your play determines how your team plays,” added Henry.

Coach Henry believes EVERY school system in the state should have an adapted sports program. There are so many sports minded, talented students who are not being given the chance they deserve to get in the game and feel that awesome feeling of success!

Coach Jeremy Downing

Jeremy Downing, Head Varsity Football Coach, Houston County – CB Watson Primary, Houston County Sharks Coach – he has been a coach for 2 years.

“When I stopped coaching baseball and softball, Coach Jones came to my classroom and recruited me to coach with the Sharks. I was apprehensive at first, due to not knowing the sport, but decided to give it a shot. It was one of the best decisions I have made. I was hooked after the first practice!” Coach Downing shared.

Coach Downing said that it was hard to have a favorite moment – he enjoys them all. But, the one that stands out to me was when one of my players had been practicing extra points and field goals then he made his first one during a game – he said that was special.

His Advice for young athletes… “Remember that mindset builds character! Everyone is capable of having a championship mindset.”

A Jordan Burroughs quote Jeremy lives by… “Stay patient and stay hungry. It’s never too late to be great!”

Coach Jamie Schneller

Jamie Schneller is an interpreter/coach at Houston County High School in the Houston County School System. She has been interpreting and coaching for four years, with the Houston County Sharks.

Some of the students that I work with wanted to be involved with the Sharks, so I was honored to be able to begin my journey with the Sharks as well,” said Henry.

Her favorite moment coaching so far has been seeing the kids learn, meet and exceed what they thought they could achieve.

Her advice for athletes… “How you practice is how you play, so practice hard!”

Coach Sebastian Tillman

Sebastian Tillman, is a teacher at East Clayton Elementary School, and a Coach for the Clayton Eagles. He has been a coaching the Eagles for more than 11 years.

He got involved because he loves athletics and his students. “It was no question once the opportunity presented itself,” said Coach Tillman.

“My favorite coaching moment so far is when one of my new players was able to retrieve a loose ball, and pass it to another one of our players. Everyone cheered for him, and the smile on his face lit up the entire gymnasium. It is moments like this that make the time and energy worthwhile.”

Coach Tillman shares this as advice for athletes, “Never allow what others say, think or do keep you from taking the steps to achieve your goals. Always dream big, but always remember you must do the work to bring your dreams to life. Always be your true and authentic self, but do not be afraid to apply constructive criticism because we all have room for improvement. Always remember you did not come this far, just to come this far.”

“AAASP has been a life changer for myself and my players. We all have started this league as strangers, but will leave as family. I could not be any more proud of each player and coach, and I am excited to see the league continue to grow.”

Coach Nicholas Griffin

Dr. Nicholas Griffin, Assistant Head Coach, works in the Troup County School System, and is the Assistant Head Coach for the West Georgia Wolverines.

Coach Griffin has been with the Wolverines for 2 years (one as a volunteer coach and one as a paid coach).

“I am a former Exceptional Education teacher and I was heavily persuaded by Gavin Pijnenburg to come check out a practice. Once I arrived, I knew that I was going to be a Wolverine for life!” said Coach Griffin.
My favorite moment so far, was… “After winning the 2022 Gail Hendricks Volunteerism Award, my Wolverine parents and athletes asked me to become a full time coach with pay. It literally brought tears to my eyes!”

My advice for my athletes is… “Nothing can stop you! Everyone can’t be a Wolverine!”
Coach Griffin wanted to share this quote:  Psalms 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”

Interpreter Samuel Titus Gonzales

Samuel Titus Gonzales has served as the AAASP interpreter for the Clayton County Eagles at Jonesboro High School since 2020.

He says his favorite AAASP moment so far, was “Watching one of the the team captains encourage and inspire his team to win the game.  It was a an emotional moment for Coach Tillman and I. As a result, we won second place. He is my kid too.”

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