KENDALLVILLE — The game of football has been a part of Trevor Tipton’s life for 44 years and will continue to be with his return to coaching.
This fall, Tipton will be the running backs and tight ends coach for East Noble, his alma mater.
He’s gone through the process of coming back to coaching once before. Tipton was the head coach of the Cougars from 1990-2009 and had four consecutive 10-win seasons from 2000-2003, including a sectional championship in 2002.
He returned to coaching at the high school level in 2017 to be the offensive coordinator under Greg Moe. Central Noble went 8-4 and made it to the sectional final with Tipton as the offensive coordinator.
Tipton took over for Moe the following season and coached the Cougars for two seasons before stepping down in January. He has a 121-111 career record.
“When I got out in January, I just knew that when I got back in the head coaching role a few years prior, I didn’t know how many years I was going to be able to keep that pace,” Tipton said. “To be a head coach, it’s so demanding and time consuming. I just got to the point where I was burning too much energy and putting in too much time and it wasn’t fun.”
However, it didn’t take long before the batteries were recharged and East Noble head coach Luke Amstutz was on the phone offering Tipton a position.
“Luke called me a month or so after the fact and said, ‘Hey, I got a position over here and want you to think about it.’ And said he would like me to be a part of the program. He said all the right things,” Tipton said. “I thought it all over, knowing that it was going to be a different look for me and different role for me.”
Tipton’s new role doesn’t come with as many responsibilities as a head coach would, which is a positive for him.
“I thought it would be nice just to go to practice and to focus on just coaching the kids up, making them better football players and not have to worry about the 24/7 responsibilities like a head coach,” Tipton said.
The offense that Tipton will be an assistant for is different than what he ran with the Cougars, but coaching the running backs and tight ends are positions Tipton has been hands-on with while at Central Noble.
“Although the offensive scheme looks different than what I’m used to, there’s still athletes that need to be coached. I hope I can use some of my experience and knowledge to help the Knights,” Tipton said.
Tipton was a very successful player with the Knights from 1972-74. His name is still in the East Noble record book.
He held the record for most tackles in a game, 17, which he set against NorthWood in 1974. It was broken Jacob VanGorder last season with 18 tackles against Huntington North. Tipton also had the most tackles points (two points for a solo tackle, one for an assist) in a career with 571 until Tyler Knox broke the record during the 2000 season.
“It feels pretty good,” Tipton said on returning to his alma mater. “The people have been very nice, very welcoming. I’ve certainly enjoyed learning a new system and another way of doing things. I’ve enjoyed the whole thing so far.”
Tipton said he also is happy to be involved with a program that his grandchildren could come through one day. He said they are currently playing at the flag football level.
In January, it looked like Tipton might hang it up for good, but there’s just something about the game of football that keeps bringing him back.
“Let’s be honest, I’ve done this for 44 years. It’s a part of me,” Tipton said. “It’s just sort of who I am. It’s what makes me tick. Just when I think I don’t have enough in the tank anymore, something else lures me back into it. It’s never completely out of my system.”