Toombs ready for challenge
Longtime assistant named Forrest basketball coach
Randy Toombs has worn many different coaching hats in his long tenure in the Middle Tennessee school systems, but the 1979 Smyrna High graduate feels he has finally found the job he was searching for when he was named head coach for Forrest basketball.
"I am very honored and proud of the fact that coach Mac (Forrest principal Davy McClaran) and coach (Scott) Delk felt like they could trust me with this program," said Toombs. "This is the most excited I have been in a long time and I am probably in one the best places I have been, personally and professionally."
"I have always believed in the whole God plan, so I am about where I need to be if I am going to do something like this or asked to take on something like this."
Toombs takes over for Wes Hobbs, who recently resigned after posting 66-58 record in four years on the bench for the Rockets.
"This is humbling," said Toombs. "I know it's a privilege being part of this program, boys and girls for nine years and I know what they expect, I know the type of kids we have here, they are great kids that will work hard for you."
"You have to demand it and you have to push it, but they will come through for you when it comes to effort."
What Toombs does have is a ton of young talent to work with, especially the incoming freshmen class that captured the Duck River Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles last season.
"You look at what can be, you know there a lot of little bitty cogs in the wheel that can mess stuff up, but as far as the kids, their character, their work ethic, and their love of the game that is what excites you," said Toombs. "They won that championship in a class way with humility and like true champions."
Toombs played football, baseball, and basketball at Smyrna and went on to Belmont to play baseball where he earned the catcher's position in his freshman year.
Toombs was drafted as a junior in the 108 round by the Montreal Expos in 1981, but because of a torn rotator cuff injury, he decided not to take the offer that would have sent him to the Rookie League in Rochester, New York.
"I knew in my heart that I could not afford school and I knew my arm was shot," said Toombs. "I played my senior year with the torn rotator cuff and as the year went on, my arm became weaker and weaker."
After college, Toombs started his coaching career as basketball coach at Beech.
"Growing up I always thought I would coach football or basketball," said Toombs. "A friend of mine said you can never coach football or baseball and I never knew why until I did and found out how fast the game is and how you have to think fast and I liked that."
After Beech, Toombs coached in the Metro school system at White's Creek, Overton and Hillsboro.
Toombs went on to coach softball at Centennial and at his alma mater before moving to Chapel Hill in 2005.
He coached football for three years and softball for a couple years before landing in his final spot on the hardwoods, where he coached middle school.
"I am very blessed to have coached with the three guys I have worked with here," said Toombs. "Coach Reasonover, McClaran and Hobbs have been great and I have been able to grab a little bit from all of them."
Much work ahead
Toombs knows there is a lot of work to do with the Rockets, who went 9-19 last season.
He has locked all the high school players out of the locker room and has told them they have to earn their way back in.
"Wins and losses are one thing, but there will be effort, you can be sure of that," said Toombs. "We have to see how it goes, one year will not get it done, but as long as everyone buys in to what we want to do, I'm sure we can all bring Forrest basketball back together."