Following his fifth sub-.500 season in six years, Upson-Lee Knights head football coach Tommy Watson has tendered his resignation. Upson-Lee Athletic Director Eddie Payne also submitted his resignation.
Watson, a 1997 graduate of Upson-Lee, attended Mississippi State, where he was recognized as one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC. After graduating from Miss. State, he signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans and attended their pre-season camp before deciding to come home to Thomaston and coach. He began teaching and was an assistant coach until 2008, when he became head coach for the Knights. In his six seasons as head coach, the Knights posted one winning season, in 2011, when they went 6-5 and made it to the first round of the state playoffs. Watson’s overall record for the six years was 23-38.
Eddie Payne was head coach for the Knights until December 2007, when he resigned. However, he stayed on at Upson-Lee as Athletic Director.
The Thomaston-Upson School System released the following statement Tuesday:
Upson-Lee High School’s Tommy Watson has submitted his resignation as head football coach, effective immediately. Athletic Director Eddie Payne has also resigned from his position. Both men will retain their academic duties within the school. Watson will remain at the high school as a physical education teacher, and Payne will continue to serve as part-time administrator.
Thomaston-Upson Schools’ Deputy Superintendent Dr. Mike Gatlin released the following statement, “Both Tommy Watson and Eddie Payne are outstanding members of this community and have served admirably within the Thomaston-Upson athletic arena. We appreciate the long hours and the dedication these men have given to the Upson-Lee High School athletic program.”