By: Isabella Marinello
Tom Lamont has been in the Caldwell-West Caldwell district for 27 years now, and has grown to be very well known. From coaching to teaching all students know who Mr. Lamont is, and even if they haven’t had the opportunity to be taught or coached by him. Most students definitely know him or have spoken to him.
His coworker Mr. Huff, who is also a former student stated, “I have known Coach Lamont since I was a kid and he has always been such a kind, caring person. Having the privilege of working with him over the past 10 years has been a blessing. His humor and storytelling will truly be missed at JCHS.”
Lamont has been teaching for 38 years now, and started his teaching career at Depaul High School. He went to the University of Maine where he majored in Physical Education, and got his degree in Physical Education.
In an interview with Mr. Lamont, he said “When the opportunity presented itself to work in this district it was a no brainer. I knew my son would be playing ball there, and if I didn’t switch to Caldwell I would never be able to see him play. I looked at it as an opportunity to move into the public school system, and eventually coach my son.”
Mr. Lamont came to James Caldwell High school and never looked back. He loved the community and loved being a part of it even after his son graduated he stayed here and continued to coach. He loved that he was able to have relationships with not only the kids he coached but other students in the classroom aspect as well. He loved to see his student athletes in another perspective, and get to know them in a totally different setting than the field.
I asked Mr. Lamont what his best memories of James Caldwell were, and he could not give me one single memory that was his favorite. This was because in all of the 38 years he was teaching and coaching he had hundreds of memories that he cherished: “There is not one single thing that was my favorite in the 38 years of teaching, because there have been happy events, sad events, and things that I will just never forget.”
From a coaching standpoint, he will never forget the feeling of winning state championships and getting to play at Metlife Stadium. Although, the coaching experience is not quite over for Mr. Lamont. He will continue to be the head coach of the football team without teaching, and he is excited for the years to come with coaching. Mr. Lamont believes that not being a teacher, but still being a coach, will be an awfully weird transition. But, he is excited to take it on and have a lot more time for himself and his family.
At one point in his career, Lamont could be found on both the baseball and football field.. He has always been committed to making his teams very successful and has given up so much time for his student athletes. He loved coaching both baseball and football, but confessed,“My wife always liked me better during baseball season.”
He said that being a football coach is very stressful with only one game a week, the intensity of a loss could really get to you. But, when coaching baseball, your head is always on a swivel because you go to one game from the next.
No matter where Lamont was coaching he was always there to bring his athletes up and coach strategically and successfully in order to win. Lamont was not only a coach but formed many personable relationships with his student athletes that will never be forgotten. Senior football captain Ethan Cavallo stated “Having had Coach Lamont these past 4 years has taught me so much about myself. He has taught me valuable lessons on and off the field that will make me a better person in the long run.”
Lamont doesn’t know when his coaching career will end, but is not quite ready to let it go yet. He loves the game and loves that coaching is a way to feel like he is playing ball again. Although he will miss seeing his students off the field, he is still ready to take on this upcoming football season and make relationships with them on and off the field, even if it isn’t in the classroom.
With a lot more free time on his hands, Mr. Lamont plans on doing a lot more. He will still have the restrictions of being a football coach but for the most part his days will be free. During this free time he plans to make up lost time with his family. This includes spending a lot more time with his kids, grandchildren, and wife. He wants to be able to see the things that he was never able to see, and travel a lot more with his wife. Coaching and teaching has taken a lot of his time and he is ready to have more time on his hand. He is super excited to be able to be with his grandchildren as they are starting to grow up too.