The Thomson High School Bulldogs opened football practice last week with one new member of the coaching staff. Michael Costello is replacing the departed Rodney Garvin as the team's defensive line coach. Coach Costello comes to Thomson with nine years of official coaching and teaching experience, all in the Forsyth County School System north of Atlanta.
Coach Costello graduated from Jonesboro High School in 1991, where he played football his sophomore season for Head Coach Rick Tomberlin, formerly of Washington County and currently at Valdosta High School. He played his final two seasons at Jonesboro under Coach Al Hughes, although an injury prevented him from completing his senior season.
Coach Costello graduated from Georgia State University and received his master's degree from Brenau University. During his days as a student, he also found the time to serve as a community coach at Mt. Zion High School in Clayton County under his former middle school coach Bob Ryan.
He started his career as the Head Coach at South Forsyth Middle School where he served for four years before moving to South Forsyth High School. At South Forsyth, he served on the varsity staff of Coach Norris Vaughn for three seasons, coaching the running backs. He spent the past two years at Otwell Middle School as the athletic director and head football coach.
Coach Costello and his wife Misty, an accountant, had been looking to relocate to this area of the state for some time when the opportunity to come to Thomson presented itself.
"Some good friends of ours bought property in Glascock County and moved there nine years ago, and we have been saying we hoped to do the same thing one day, and now here we are," Coach Costello said. The Costellos are living in Glascock County near those friends.
"When I saw that Thomson was looking for an English teacher and a football coach, I knew that I could fill the bill. That combination is a rarity these days so I came down in March and interviewed with Mr. Falana, Coach Welsh and Coach Barnett," he said.
"I feel very privileged to join such an experienced staff that are also great men," he added. "You can tell by the demeanor of the kids how much respect they have for these coaches."
When asked when he decided to become a teacher and a coach, Coach Costello quickly replied that it was early in life. He credits the aforementioned Bob Ryan as being a great influence on him at Pointe South Middle School in Clayton County. Coach Ryan's impression led Coach Costello to prepare himself for a career in education right out of high school.
"Coach Ryan had high academic expectations for those of us that played football and I saw what a difference he made in our lives. I remember that he never gave up on a kid and I have pretty much modeled my approach after his. I also am convinced that football is a sport that can help teach boys how to be responsible men later in life," Costello said.
Coach Michael Costello is joining two departments of high expectations at Thomson High School, athletics and English. He impresses me as a young gentleman that will conquer the unenviable task of being called "Coach" in the language arts suite of THS.
I am also hearing from the coaching staff that they are pleased with the results that he is getting from his students on the football field. He feels lucky to be here and we are even more fortunate to have him.
Welcome to Thomson, Coach Michael Costello!