The Union Recorder

Local Sports

May 9, 2014

Former UGA, NFL player hired as Trojan defensive coach

MILLEDGEVILLE — Two former University of Georgia football teammates are reunited at John Milledge Academy.

This week JMA head football coach J.T. Wall announced Tony Gilbert as the Trojans’ new defensive coordinator.

“We’ve known each other a long time. We ran in the same circles in high school as far as summer camps,” Wall said. “We ended up playing together at Georgia for three years and just stayed in touch the whole time. He’s just been playing, and I’ve been coaching. We’ve always had a mutual respect for each other. I’m glad to have him on board.”

The two Trojan coaches met back in 1996. Even with successful high school careers, neither was highly recruited.

Both worked hard and wanted to prove coaches wrong.

“That’s what pushed us to be better football players and better men too,” JMA’s newest defensive coordinator said.

Gilbert, a three-year starter at linebacker and captain of Georgia’s 2002 SEC Championship team, played eight seasons in the National Football League, six with the Jacksonville Jaguars and two for the Atlanta Falcons.

Gilbert earned his bachelor’s degree in Special Education from UGA in 2011.

The Macon native spent single graduate assistant years as a strength and conditioning coach at UGA and a defensive line and linebackers’ coach at Auburn University.

Georgia Military College hired Gilbert in July 2013 to coach defensive backs.

“Of course I want to thank Bert Williams and the GMC family for giving me an opportunity to coach and learn more under him and Rob Manchester and Brian Hill,” Gilbert said. “They did a great job showing me another side of coaching. I learned a lot about how to deal with kids and football in general.”

The new JMA coach enjoys the teaching aspect of the game.

“I can mentor and help mold young men to where they want to be in life,” he said. “I want to be a good impact in these guys’ lives.”

He will replace JMA athletic director Dwight Danuser, who will take a different role focusing on special teams and the defensive line.

“(Gilbert) is a very energetic guy that I think our kids can rally around,” Wall said. “He’s excited to get into high school football too. It’s something new for him. Being able to coordinate the defense was an attractive quality we were able to offer him.”

JMA’s defense hasn’t lacked for much the last two seasons with the team losing just three out of 26 games.

“Nothing is going to change from our expectations,” Wall said. “We feel like having Tony on board strengthens our staff and school as a whole. A guy of his caliber, character and talents is only going to boost our football program.”

Gilbert said the Trojan defense will be a passionate, fundamentally sound group.

“We are going to give great effort and love what we do,” he said. “I spoke to the team the other day and said I’m excited to be here. I’m not a ‘me’ guy. It’s about what the John Milledge Academy Trojans are going to do together. If love what you do, it’s going to be easy.”

The new hire joins the school’s growing learning support program. Gilbert will also coach the middle school boys basketball team, as well as assisting with varsity and middle school track.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • State amputee golf tournament this week

    The Milledgeville Country Club will host the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble prior to the individual stroke play portion the following two days.

    July 10, 2014

  • Kalie Todd.jpg Elite Gymnastics posts strong showing at nationals

    Competing on the national stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla. June 11-15, Elite Gymnastics posted some of its best results in program history at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Gymnastics National Championship.

    July 9, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-26 Jayla Waller.jpg Former Bravette to play for Georgia College

    One of the most decorated players in Baldwin High School girls’ basketball history, Jayla Waller advanced to the collegiate level competing for Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. this past season as a freshman.

    June 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-21 Ramsey.JPG Amateur golf talent turns pro

    Professional golf is unforgiving and expensive.

    June 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 06-14 GMC summer basketball.jpg Bulldog basketball busy this summer

    Georgia Military Prep School boys’ basketball coach James Lunsford is notorious for working his players year-round to become better athletes and better students.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_2312.JPG Ross a future star

    The numbers speak loudly for David Ross Jr.

    June 11, 2014 5 Photos

  • 06-06 Blackbelt.jpg Mother-daughter combo make history at local karate studio

    History was made on Thursday, May 22 at Drouillard’s Karate Studio, as the school’s first mother-daughter combination in Mary Beth and Lindsey Atkinson tested and achieved the pinnacle black belt status on the same night.

    June 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_1061.JPG Youth explore tennis during GC camp

    Georgia College's tennis courts appeared to be a busy place on Wednesday afternoon.

    June 5, 2014 3 Photos

  • coach k camp.JPG Coach K's Soccer Camp kicks off with sweat

    Kids attending Coach K's Soccer Camp get their cleats dirty day one.

    June 3, 2014 3 Photos

  • 05-31 Cody Miller 3.JPG Miller’s versatility boosted Trojans this season

    Representing the John Milledge Academy baseball team well this spring, junior Cody Miller proved versatility is a key ingredient at the high school level as he led his team offensively and in pitching, earning him 2014 All-County Player of the Year honors.

    June 1, 2014 1 Photo