By David Fong
CENTERVILLE — Tom Massie spent much of his adult life helping football players and coaches.
When the time came to honor Massie for his accomplishments and many years of service, he was quick to give the credit to those same players and coaches.
“I think the greatest part of coaching was being able to work with the kids and the coaches,” said Massie, who was inducted into the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association Assistant Coaches Hall of Fame last weekend. “It was neat to be able to represent all of the kids and coaches I worked with. This is not something you do on your own. Working as a part of a coaching staff is like being on a miniature team. I was fortunate enough to be a part of some really good coaching staffs at Troy as well as Fairborn and Tecumseh.”
Massie, who taught industrial arts for 35 years in the Fairborn school district, coached at three schools, but the majority of his assistant coaching career was spent at Troy, where he served primarily as a running backs coach. He served two different stints at Troy, first coaching from 1993-97, then returning in 2001 after coaching at Fairborn, where his own children were attending school. His second stint at Troy lasted through the 2014 season.
During his time at Troy, Massie coached some of the top running backs in school history, including Ryan Brewer and Matt Dallman, the leading rusher and third-leading rusher, respectively, in school history. He also coached 1,000-yard rushers Brad Clay, Cody Boyd, Daniel McCormick, Dustin Messer, Corey Brown, Matt Allen and Miles Hibbler.
“I was fortunate to be around some really good running backs,” Massie said. “I remember standing there at practice watching some of the things they could do and just being amazed. I remember watching Ryan Brewer running away from people. I would watch Matt Dallman squeeze his way through the line of scrimmage and think, ‘How did he see that hole?’ We had some running backs who could do some pretty special things … the types of things you can’t really teach.”
Of course, Massie would know a thing or two about playing running back. He was a 1,000-yard rusher himself, having gained 1,003 yards in 1968. He credits many of the coaches he had at Troy for not only making him the player he was, but also influencing his decision to become a coach himself.
“I always had a great respect for my coaches in high school,” Massie said. “That was part of my base, my foundation. I wanted to follow in their footsteps. Alkie Richards was my head coach. I remember Chuck Comer was one of my assistants, and he had been a great player at Bowling Green. Mike McCarthy and Herb Hartman were two of my assistant coaches. It was a lot different back then, because most coaching staffs weren’t as big as they are now. You didn’t have as many specific position coaches. Jay Dorsey is another coach who was a big influence on my decision to get into coaching.”
Following his graduation from Troy, Massie went on to graduate from Bowling Green State University before beginning his teaching and coaching career at Fairborn. Returning to Troy to coach football, he said, was always a dream of his.
“I think growing up in Troy, you always want to be a part of that football tradition,” he said. “I kind of knew I always wanted to come back and coach at Troy.”
During his time as an assistant coach at Troy, Massie worked for head coaches Steve Nolan and Scot Brewer.
“My one buddy from West Carrollton wanted to nominate me, but I kept putting it off — I always thought there were other guys more deserving than me,” Massie said. “But then I got to thinking about it and realized it would be pretty neat to represent the different schools I coached at. It was a humbling experience. I was very fortunate to work with some great kids on some great staffs. I loved working with both Steve and Scot and the other assistant coaches on the staffs.”
Another Miami County coach also was inducted into the MVFCA Hall of Fame last weekend as part of the MVFCA All-Star Game festivities, as former Milton-Union head coach Wat Farrar was inducted into the MVFCA Head Coaches Hall of Fame as a Legends Inductee.
Farrar graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and coached at Logan High School and Piqua prior to coming to Milton-Union. Wat served 19 years as Milton’s head coach in two separate stints, from 1963-1977 and 1986-89. During that time he compiled a 119-68-3 record and remains the winningest coach in Bulldog history. Farrar had three undefeated seasons and won six Southwest Buckeye League championships. Farrar was an icon at Milton from the early 1960s through his untimely death in 1990.
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong