When Tilmon Clark was hired as the new athletic director at Monroe Central to start the summer of 2018, some may have thought he was walking straight in to a hornet’s nest.
After all, Monroe Central is widely known to have some of the maniacal sports fans anywhere – in a good way, depending on which side of the bleachers you sit.
Clark entered right in the middle of a controversy surrounding the girls’ basketball coach that clearly divided the community along party lines. It wasn’t one of the Monroe Central community’s finer moments.
But instead of getting tangled up in a web of sectarian discourse, Clark came in with a fresh burst of optimism, high expectations for success and one simple message that has since been incorporated into the fiber of the community.
Athletic coaches have been preaching the importance of teamwork since before the days of the peach basket, but seldom does it permeate throughout an entire athletic program like it has with Clark’s “MEoverWE” slogan. Perhaps because of the simplicity of the message, but more likely because of Clark’s own example of selflessness. the Monroe Central community seems to have put most of the differences aside and embraced Clark’s message.
Monroe Central has had good success in both athletics and academics for some time, but consider last year’s scorecard in Clark’s first year:
– 11 total championships (county, conference, sectional;
– 8 academic all-state selections (138 academics all-conference selections)
– Girls’ basketball all-time leading scorer and a separate 1,000-point scorer.
– All-time wins leader in wrestling and a separate state qualifier, just the third in school history.
– Multiple individual regional qualifiers.
“It’s a great time to be a Golden Bear. I’m very thankful for the hard work an commitment from players, coaches, fans and parents for making Monroe Central a great place to work,” Clark said in a shout out to everyone earlier this summer.”
School superintendent Adrian Moulton is clearly elated with what has transpired at Monroe Central under the watch of Tilmon Clark.
“He’s brought a lot of positive energy to his office and the school and it extends well beyond the athletes,” Moulton says. “His efforts have had a positive impact on not only the athletes, but on the teachers, administrators and throughout the community. There is a lot of positive momentum right now at Monroe Central, and Tilmon and his right-hand man Kyle Parkison has been a big part of that.”
A 2005 graduate of Winchester Community High School and a 2009 graduate of Earlham College in Richmond, Clark coached football at Butler University in Kansas, Valdosta State in Georgia and most recently at Ball State where he served as Director of Player Personnel and Off-Campus Recruting. He earned a Master’s Degree in Administration.
Clark deflects much of the praise, nothing that several before him have carried a torch, which is certainly true, but Monroe Central’s incredible success in his first year is undeniable.
“You have to attribute a lot to the student-athletes and the coaches because they are the ones who perform. Credit also goes to the teachers, parents and all the fans who come out and support the teams. A WEoverME attitude is critical to a winning culture. Everyone has to be all in it together with the same goal in mind. My job is to make sure that the student-athletes have the tools to be successful.”
Asked to assess last year’s great success, Clark noted it was in fact a good year, but could have been better if we could add “a couple of regional, semi-state and state titles.”
Don’t be surprised.