Jeff Majors, a former Mt. Juliet football standout and an assistant coach at Wilson Central since the school opened, died Wednesday.
He was 48.
Mr. Majors was the only coach to be on the sidelines in each of Wilson Central’s 13 seasons since. The non-faculty assistant worked with all the positions on defense, the offensive line and the freshman team through the years under the Wildcats’ five head coaches.
Current coach Brad Dedman said Majors was on the job as a substitute bus driver Monday before going into University Medical Center on Tuesday.
“I know he was going in for some kind of procedure and just didn’t wake up from it,” Dedman said. “We’ve had a hard time.
“We’ve lost a great man. We were lucky to have had him for as long as we did.”
He was a standout running back/linebacker at Mt. Juliet, from where he graduated in 1983. He went on to play linebacker at Austin Peay State University.
“I’m just floored,” said Friendship Christian assistant coach Jody Atwood, who served on the Wildcat staff with Majors in the early years of the school. “He’s a good guy. Just a phenomenal person, phenomenal coach.
“He not only taught life lessons through football, but taught what it was like to be a great dad. He taught life by example. He showed kids what it took to be successful in life.”
Atwood was head freshman coach when the Wildcats had their first undefeated season in 2002. Majors was his assistant.
“Just had a great, great year and just had a wonderful time together. [He was] very competitive, very intense on the sideline. He was into every play. A great defensive coach.”
Though Mr. Majors was part of the extended Majors family who played for the Golden Bears, when Central opened in 2001, the Gladeville-area native joined the staff under inaugural coach Richard Anderson.
“He was always for Wilson Central and for our kids,” Dedman said. “Everytime he spoke, it was for our kids, and that’s probably the best thing you can say about any football coach.”
Every player who has suited up for Central came under his influence, including his two sons, J.T., the school’s alltime rushing leader who went on to play for Cumberland, and D.J.
“It’s definitely going to be a new era,” said Dedman, who was also on the original Central staff but left to coach at LaVergne for two years before returning. “It’s definitely going to be different with him not being on the sidelines.”