By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published February 4, 2021
ROSWELL—After 10 seasons with the Titans, Tim McFarlin has stepped down as the head football coach at Blessed Trinity High School.
In his last season at the Roswell school, Coach McFarlin finished the varsity football season with an 8-1 record, making it to the quarter final playoffs and earning a region championship. During his tenure, Blessed Trinity won three football championships.
McFarlin coached in Georgia for nearly 40 years, with an overall record of 194-54-2. In 2018, he was named a Top 25 Coach of the Year by Catholic Athletes for Christ.
McFarlin started playing football in seventh grade, but aspired to be a coach in his sophomore year of high school. While his coaching career spans almost four decades, most of it has been spent in two places—Roswell High School and Blessed Trinity.
During his 30 years at Roswell High, he and his wife, Kay, raised their two children, Courtney and Will. He was head coach at the school for 10 years, before taking the same position at Blessed Trinity.
Growing up Methodist, McFarlin enjoyed learning more about the Catholic faith and education at Catholic schools. He built a great friendship with Charles Price, a devout Catholic and religion teacher at Blessed Trinity.
“The most valuable thing that I came away from in that relationship was seeing that we have so much more in common,” said McFarlin. “We love the Catholic community.”
What Coach McFarlin taught the students on the field, with service projects and building their faith through football was tremendous over the years, said Ricky Turner, athletic director for the Roswell high school.
Coach McFarlin “modeled behavior that he expected out of players,” said Cathy Lancaster, principal at Blessed Trinity School. “He’s just such a prayerful man, such a fine Christian, and he really taught boys to be men and to be respectful.”
A big game coach
During McFarlin’s time at Blessed Trinity, he won seven region championships. The Titans played for the state championship four times, winning three of its challenges against Marist School (2017), Cartersville High School (2018) and Oconee County High School (2019). These back-to-back championships were a first for Blessed Trinity.
Turner, who has known McFarlin for 15 years, served as the head coach of Blessed Trinity before becoming athletic director.
“It was just great to be able to see what he did with the program and how he built it,” he said.
Tom Ryan, offensive line coach for Blessed Trinity, worked with McFarlin for nine years. While working together, the Roswell school was in the playoffs for eight of those seasons. One of Ryan’s favorite memories from their time together was when Blessed Trinity defeated Cartersville High School in 2018, beating Trevor Lawrence in his senior year, who would later become quarterback for Clemson University.
“Coach was a master at getting the kids ready to play in big games,” said Ryan.
McFarlin helped students get ready to play, believe in themselves and believe they can win, he added.
The experience with Coach McFarlin was awesome, said Jackson Hamilton, student at Blessed Trinity and outside linebacker for the varsity team.
“He did a great job developing me as a player and a person,” said Hamilton. “He taught me how to be a great leader on and off the field.”
This last football season strengthened the team, according to Hamilton, as they navigated the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Coach McFarlin never talked about winning, he just wanted us to focus on the process of playing every game, said Hamilton.
Lancaster believes Coach McFarlin is good for students and football.
“I’ve just seen him change lives and he has wonderful relationships with the students and our families,” she said.
The former head coach cherishes the relationships he built over the years at the Roswell school and plans to keep many of them.
“We gained a lot of friendships in the BT community and we feel very, very grateful for that,” said McFarlin.
He also enjoyed working with the BT faculty.
“They were very supportive of our football program. They’re not just great teachers, but they’re great people,” said the coach.
Since leaving the school, McFarlin has received calls and messages from the Blessed Trinity community. He plans to stay busy helping former players with job interviews, watching them on the field at college football games and catching up with them at their high school reunions.
McFarlin hopes that students continue to have great experiences playing football for Blessed Trinity. For the departing coach, it’s really not about the games, the championships, the wins or the losses, it’s more about the process.
“Those boys are developing relationships that will last them a lifetime,” he said.
Blessed Trinity High School plans to celebrate the coach and his accomplishments at a later date.