Spreading love for the game: Melissa Tomlinson becomes first female football coach at Harris County

Melissa Tomlinson knows football. She’s not afraid to give advice or give a high five when necessary.

"She coaches you the right way," said kicker Jacob Crumbley.

"She’s a crazy lady but she knows what she’s talking about," laughed wide receiver Xavier Gonzalez.

They call her Coach T. She’s the newest member of the Harris County staff and the first female to ever be calling shots on the Tiger’s sideline. To say she loves this job, is an understatement.

"When you do what you’re passionate about, it’s really not work," she said.

Tomlinson has been passionate about football all her life. In fact she’s always wanted to coach. But to get there, she had to take the hard way.

"The only way that I could get to the sidelines was with a sports communication degree," she said. "And it got me to the sidelines."

She wasn’t necessarily a coach just yet but she was able to see everything first hand. But it was one experience that pushed Tomlinson more than ever. She was interviewing a big time coach when she asked him his thoughts on female coaches in the SEC. His response was laughter. Since that day, Tomlinson has lived by one motto.

"You have to dream big enough to make people laugh out loud," Tomlinson said. "You just have to keep your head down and do what you know that you are passionate about and do it."

And she’s been doing that ever since. After graduation, Tomlinson started coaching at a school down in Florida. Soon after she headed to Mississippi State where she volunteered her time under head coach Dan Mullen. She’s now at Harris County, coaching punters, kickers and wide receivers. She’s living her dream everyday by making an impact.

"It’s cool when you watch a wide receiver run a perfect route, catch a great pass and you see them make that connection of what you told them. So you just watch them go through it and that’s all it is," she said. "It’s about them and wanting them to be the very best. That’s the reason I do it. It’s all the reason I do it actually."

Because while her dreams of being paid to coach college ball in the SEC is still alive, she’s perfectly fine with her current role: spreading her knowledge and love for the game of football.

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