Coach of all trades

Published 10:48 am Monday, June 20, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
For a man who wears many hats, adding another one generally isn't a problem.
That is certainly the case with Tom Wolfe.
Wolfe, who is serving as head coach of the Atmore Advanced Babe Ruth Baseball team, knows a thing or two about versatility.
"I've been here (the City Gas &Water Department, which he is the head of) for 11 years," Wolfe said. "When I moved here I was working for the phone company. I did that for about nine years. I'm also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
"I like this," Wolfe added, laughing, when asked if it was nice to have fallback options.
Wolfe said that appreciation for what his youth sports coaches had done for him had inspired him to involve himself in the process.
"I just remember when I was a kid the time people spent with me," Wolfe said. "You don't really appreciate that until you get older and you realize you need to spend time with kids, too. I see it as community service. It helps keep you young."
After coaching for 17 years, Wolfe said he had a few principles he stood by for his teams.
"I believe in strong team discipline," Wolfe said. "Kids need to learn how to act. That helps build character and that sort of thing. But I also want them to have fun."
Wolfe's two sons, Jesse, 22, who recently graduated from college and has taken a job with Masland Carpets, and Thomas, 16, who plays on the Advanced Babe Ruth team, have also been a big part of his long tenure in coaching.
"My kids are six years apart, so that's part of why I've been doing it for such a long time," Wolfe said. "I've coached football and baseball. I'm out of the football business, finally. I've mostly been involved with teams that my kids were on. A lot of these kids on the Advanced Babe Ruth team I've known since they were five years old."
Wolfe said that while he enjoyed coaching, it had also taught him a few lessons.
"A lot of these kids don't have parents that will bring them to practice," Wolfe said. "Over the years, I've provided many a kid transportation to and from practice. It just breaks your heart. You see these kids with a lot of athletic ability, and their parents don't even come out to see them play. I think a lot of the problem in today's society is parents who don't spend enough time with their kids."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox