Farmer, 69, is coming out of retirement to coach the Lions. He has endured the 2-8 and 3-7 seasons throughout his career, but he also experienced winning a state title as his Etowah teams played for three consecutive state championships from 1997-99.
It was that 1999 season that Etowah won its state championship.
Farmer is quick to tell you he is from the old school, hard-nosed, believes in discipline and expects discipline from his players.
His coaching career spanned 42 years, starting in 1966 as an assistant coach at Hewitt-Trussville and ending in 2008 at Coosa Christian.
In 28 seasons as a head coach, Farmer had an overall record of 173-130-2.
Now, Farmer will start his 43rd year on the sideline when Victory Christian starts play this fall.
“About three or four weeks ago, Victory Christian just crossed my mind, even before I knew they were looking for a coach,” Farmer said. “I guess God brought it to my attention, because I had no intentions of doing this ever again. I was called one day, and came over here to talk to them. I really had no idea I would be coaching again. I feel like this is something I need to do. I feel like I can help this program and help the kids.”
Farmer said once you coach, if you do it like you’re supposed to, it gets in your blood.
“It’s not about the winning and losing; it’s about seeing kids develop and building relationships,” Farmer said. “It’s about helping kids and taking them where they will not take themselves. In this case here, they have not seen a whole lot of success the past couple of years, and we want to change that.”
Farmer has asked one of his former players at Ashville to help as an assistant coach. Mike Sheffield played for Farmer from 1968 to 1972.
Both Farmer and Sheffield are members of the St. Clair County Sports Hall of Fame.
“I coached him in football, B-team basketball and track,” Farmer said. “He was not that gifted, but he had a talent, and he always gave me 110 percent. He worked hard, never complained, and set a good example for everyone else. He was part of two state championship track teams. I’ve never seen him coach, but I know he is going to be a good coach based on his character, his ability and his love for kids.”
Sheffield said he had a tremendous amount of respect for Farmer.
“Any success I have had in life, I can relate it back to the lessons I’ve learned in sports,” Sheffield said. “Discipline, hard work, teamwork, getting along with others are the keys, and it brings back fond memories. I’m excited about this opportunity, and I look forward to it.”
Sheffield said he would not have jumped at the chance to coach just anywhere.
“It had to be at the right school, and with the right person,” Sheffield said.
Weir said he thinks about the families at Victory Christian School. “I think we have the most amazing families here,” Weir said. “They sacrifice to have their kids in a Christian school. They want their kids to be successful academically, athletically, and in their walk with the Lord. That’s why we’re excited about coach Farmer. We have a great school here. Our senior class of 2012 had 46 percent of who received academic scholarships. But we want to win here, and coach Farmer knows how to run a winning program. I know that his reputation is to run a disciplined and organized football program. We’re really excited about him bringing experience and a love for the students to coach these Christian boys.”
Victory Christian’s last football win was during the 2009 season. After going 17-3 during the 2008-09 seasons, the Lions were 0-18 the past two years.
The Lions are in Class 2A, and are one of the smallest schools in 2A.
The season gets started Aug. 31, on the road against the Alabama School for the Deaf.