14 to Watch in 2014: Mark Ivory

January 5, 2014 

FourteenFor14

Mark Ivory

JASON VORHEES — jvorhees@macon.com Buy Photo

  • Mark Ivory
    Age: 44
    City of residence: Warner Robins
    Occupation: Athletics director at Thomson Middle School
    Hobbies: Coaching football and watching football
    Favorite thing about Houston County: The people

Thomson Middle School just posted one of its most successful athletic campaigns in school history under the leadership of athletics director Mark Ivory.

The Tigers won both the seventh- and eighth-grade county championships in football, while the boys soccer and cheerleading programs showed tremendous improvement by finishing second and third, respectively.

Ivory has been the driving force behind Thomson’s athletics department for the past 10 years. He previously was an assistant football coach at the high school level under former Northside head coach Conrad Nix, who was known for his ability to tutor quarterbacks.

“It has been a big change for me moving to middle school,” Ivory said. “You have to be more hands on, talk a little different to them and hold their hand a little more. I learned coming over here that middle school coaches work really hard.”

Thomson serves as a feeder school to Northside, and the middle school has had tremendous success turning out football players who go on to star for the Eagles.

“It’s pretty important to have a guy like (Ivory) over there at Thomson,” Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. “The communication and the cooperation is great. Whenever we go over there to start meeting the kids, he’s always extremely helpful and encourages them to become Northside Eagles. He’s an asset to have over there.”

Ivory is looking forward to another successful year leading the seventh- and eighth-graders at the Centerville school.

“We always strive to get better at everything we do every year,” Ivory said. “Everybody wants to win, but we want to continue to turn out good athletes, good kids and good citizens. I believe that when a kid plays sports, it transfers over into the classroom and motivates them to do the best they can.”

-- Ryan Jordan

Click on the links below to read of 14 to Watch in 2014 stories:

Rorie Bradley, 30, Warner Robins, athletics director of Central Georgia Technical College

Stacy Campbell, 33, Perry, president and CEO of the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce until April 30; will become director of communications of the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter on May 1

Jay Flesher, 45, Warner Robins, director of economic development at Flint Energies

Carmen Foskey, 17, Warner Robins, student at Warner Robins High School

Bill Goggin, 49, Bonaire, manager of Houston County Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore

Heather Hall, 39, Warner Robins, marketing manager for Cox Communications

Sonya P. Jenkins, 44, Warner Robins, CEO of Vision Inscribed, a business solutions company

Kelly Miller, 31, Centerville, family nurse practitioner

Joe Molyson, 66, Bonaire, retired colonel and assistant director of operations for intelligence, Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base; also retired Houston County High School astronomy teacher

Kellye C. Moore, 45, Warner Robins, attorney

Melissa Phagan, 36, Warner Robins, director of administrative and volunteer services, and executive administrative assistant to CEO Cary Martin at Houston Healthcare

Mark Strandburg, 37, Kathleen, general dentist

Larry Walker III, 48, Kathleen, insurance agent

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