Boyle ‘super-coach’ helps three teams in different sports to title wins

Published 4:56 pm Monday, February 18, 2019


Information Technology teacher Damian Laymon turns into super-coach after school, jumping from football, to eSports, to track and field. Photo by Sierra Dean

Boyle County High School

Several coaches at Boyle County High School can boast  their team has earned a state championship title. However, not many coaches, even across the state, can say that they have helped coach teams in three different sports to a title.

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In a 14-month period of time, Damian Laymon is the man who has accomplished this feat. He helped bring home the 2017 state football championship trophy, four state track championship trophies with the girls in 2016, ‘17, ‘18 and the boys in 2018, as well as hardware in the state eSports championship in 2019.

Needless to say his schedule is challenging after teaching to full classrooms all day long. After school, Laymon assists with the football team in the fall as he organizes the video and technology staff, he coaches the pole vaulters in track and field, and he is the head coach of the newly formed eSports team.

Before beginning his teaching career at Boyle, Laymon taught for 14 years at the Harrodsburg Area Technology Center where he served as an assistant track coach for Mercer County from 2008 to 2012. He was drawn to the sport from his high school experience. “I was mostly a track athlete. I ran the 110 meter and 300 hurdles. Sometimes the 4×400 relay.”

Coaching this sport seemed natural. “I ran track for five years in high school, so it was something I’ve always had a passion for. When I saw that Mercer County had a need for an assistant track coach, I applied. The head coach was one of my former coaches and teachers so he hired me. When I came to Boyle, Coach (Brent) Wagner found out I was teaching here, so he recruited me to come and help out.

“Originally, Coach Wagner asked me to help out with shotput and discus, as the other coach had a work schedule that didn’t allow him to be at practice all the time. Once he got his work schedule leveled out, Wagner asked me if I wanted to take on pole vault, which has always been a kind of weak spot for the school. I had never vaulted before, I wasn’t that type of athlete, but I just learned the mechanics of it, and took off.”

Next on his goals list is winning an individual state championship for pole vault. “We’ve won as a team and I’ve taken several students to the state championship. They’ve placed, but we haven’t gotten first.”

In addition to his work with the track team, Laymon takes directives from his fellow football coaches to organize the video and technology staff’s work to meet the needs of the team. “The coaches need to be able to scout other teams. There’s a system called Hudl that allows coaches to trade games so they can break the games down and evaluate other teams. Also, our team uses a drone to film practices so they can see how players are performing from an overhead view.”

After his important work with the football team, Laymon quickly transitioned this year to being the head coach of the newly formed eSports team. “The students asked me if I would do it, because I have a computer lab, and because I was kind of the nerd in high school, a lot of the kids asked me if I would come and head that up.”

After guiding his team to a state championship in the sport’s first year of existence, Laymon is already making improvement plans for next season’s eSports team. “We’re expanding it more, we’re trying to get more students involved, and now we know a little bit more about the games. So as a coach, I’m trying to better understand what the needs of those players are. I’m also trying to learn the games a little bit, as well, so I’ve been playing them in my off-time.”

Laymon firmly believes each team is so strong because there is a culture of success and excellence at the high school.

“Boyle coaches do a great job of finding students who take pride in what they do. I think every sport and activity encourages everybody else to participate in something. The student body, by and large, is a bunch of brothers and sisters who love to cheer each other on.

“I think they do a great job of encouraging each other. Everybody wants to be a part of that championship habit, so everybody works hard at what they do.”