From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Hewitt-Trussville Head Track & Field Coach Tom Esslinger was recently announced as a 2021 inductee into the Jackson County Sports Hall of Fame. Esslinger and his family will be honored on January 8, 2022 at Goose Pond Civic Center.
In his first year coaching the Huskies, Esslinger led the Boys and Girls Indoor teams to the 7A state championship.
The boys and girls outdoor teams both placed 2nd at the State Meet.
From 2005-2020 Esslinger was the head track and field coach and track and field and cross country program director at Homewood High School. During Esslinger’s tenure the program won 31 state championships, including 20 state titles in track and field.
Esslinger earned National Coach of the Year honors in 2017, and he has also been named Alabama Coach of the Year four times. He was a coach for the U.S. Navy at the 2014 Warrior Games.Prior to earning his Master’s degree in Education at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Esslinger graduated magna cum laude from the University of South Alabama with a degree in political science.
At the University of South Alabama Esslinger was an all-conference decathlete in 2001 and 2003 in the NCAA Division I Sun Belt Conference, earned the Perseverance Award for Courage and Character in Athletics, won the Most Outstanding Student in Political Science Award, and was selected to the Verizon Academic All-District IV Team for NCAA Track & Field.
Esslinger was a 1998 graduate of Scottsboro High School where he was an AAU All-American in the decathlon and was All-State multiple times. His father John Esslinger coached him in high school and is in the AHSAA Hall of Fame for winning 46 state championships.
Esslinger lives in Homewood with his wife Amanda, who is an administrator at Hoover High School, and their two sons John and Will.