Contributed story – September 8, 2022 - The Tuskegee News
During the All-Macon County Day Festival on Friday, August 26, 2022, a former high school football coach and his former student-athlete had the opportunity to share stories about their collective high school athletic years at Bullock County High School.
Over the past years, the former student-athlete and former coach have met numerous times; however, this was the first meeting during the All-Macon County Day Festival. The two met at the Macon County Courthouse and reminisced and reflected on the positive influence the coach had made on the student-athlete.
The student-athlete who played football in the 1980s and is now the Probate Judge of Bullock County is none other than Judge James E. Tatum. And the high school football coach, now a Macon County Commissioner for District 2, is Edward "Coach" Huffman.
Judge Tatum played football for the Bullock County High School Hornets as an offensive tackle and a defensive end. Commissioner "Coach" Huffman was Tatum's offensive line and defensive end coach. Commissioner Huffman has coached and mentored countless student-athletes while serving at Bullock County High School.
He was the head varsity basketball coach for 28 years, served for three years as head coach of the Bullock County High School junior varsity basketball team, and was the offensive line and defensive end football coach.
When asked about playing football for Huffman, Judge Tatum replied that Coach Huffman was a mentor, a coach, and his physical education teacher. Judge Tatum described Huffman as a mild-mannered, gentle giant who was a no-nonsense teacher.
Tatum added that Huffman often told the team a million times, "If you give up here, you'll go through life giving up."
He described Huffman as a man of God and a man of principle and integrity. Judge Tatum attributes any success or accomplishments in life to educators like Coach Edward Huffman. Huffman served as offensive line and defensive end coach and as head basketball coach in the Bullock County School System for 28 years and as junior high head basketball coach for three years.
Huffman remarked that he has coached numerous student-athletes and is proud to have served as a mentor, father figure, and role model for many students at Bullock County High School.
Fast forward some 42 years later, Coach Huffman has served as Macon County Commissioner for District 2 for the past ten years, and Judge Tatum is in his second six-year term as Probate Judge of Bullock County.