Jonathan Tinsley, Dawson County Junior High physical education teacher, will take over the high school cross country program for the upcoming 2021 season.
“I’m extremely excited to be taking the job,” Tinsley said. “Looking forward to doing what we’ve been doing and competing for a region championship every year. Hopefully, we can get back on the podium.”
DCHS assistant principal Charles Beusse decided to step down from leading the team after spending the last eight years as the head coach. Tinsley has worked with Beusse as an assistant coach and leading the middle school cross country team.
“While stepping away from coaching is bittersweet, I am very excited for the future of cross country at DCHS,” Beusse said. “Coach Tinsley has been involved with the program for the past four years and has been a huge part of its success. The energy and passion he brings to the table is unparalleled and I believe that's exactly what we need right now.”
Since Tinsley is moving from an assistant coaches role to the head coach, he said he has no plans in changing anything about what the cross country team plans to do. Tinsley added that he would not have left the county to search for a head coaching job but is glad he gets the opportunity to do it in Dawsonville.
“For the kids, we’re building a really strong program.” Tinsley said. “I like working individually with the kids. With Charles stepping down, this was the best thing.”
During Beusse’s tenure as head coach, neither the boys or the girls cross country team failed to qualify for the state tournament. He won a combined eight region championships and finished Top 4 in the state four times, with the boys finishing in second place twice. Beusse won 3A Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2020.
“Stepping down as head cross country coach was one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make,” Beusse said. “As another coach once told me, there's never a good time to move on from coaching, but there is the right time. All of the wins, successes, and growth of cross country at DCHS is a direct reflection of the character, discipline, and hard work of our athletes.”
Tinsley will receive a girls cross country team full of rising sophomores that nobody expected to qualify for the state tournament last year. The boys finished second in the state and have rising senior Ethan Smith returning from that group of runners.
“With the girls, even though they’re young, they had a lot of success last year. Everyone is gonna look at us and think we’re rebuilding, but we may just be reloading. It’s a great opportunity for us.”