Raiders lose veteran defensive coordinator to Summertown

By Maurice Patton

Despite cutting his commute from 37 minutes to less than two, the decision this week by former Spring Hill defensive coordinator Jason Busby to join the faculty and coaching staff at Summertown wasn’t as easy as the math might dictate.

“I love Spring Hill, I love the administration there. Me and (Raider baseball coach) Paul Lamm are big buddies; we were roommates in college. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity than when Ben Martin asked me to be his defensive coordinator,” Busby said.

“That all still made the decision tough.”

On the other end, though: Busby’s wife, Katie, is also on the Summertown faculty – “We’re going to be the special education department” – one daughter attends Summertown Middle School and another will be there in a year.

“My entire family is there,” he said. “It’s the best thing, overall, for my family.”

Already facing the loss of his offensive coordinator, Spring Hill’s Ben Martin (left, at the 2019 Columbia Noon Rotary Club Football Coaches Forum) learned this week he will also go into the upcoming season without defensive coordinator Jason Busby, who has accepted a position at Summertown. (Photo by Dan Jaynes)

Martin agrees, wholeheartedly, even as the timing of the move is critical. Busby’s departure follows that of Nick Deschamps, who will transition from offensive coordinator to strength and conditioning coach for the school’s athletic program.

“It’s the best thing for his family,” the third-year Spring Hill coach said of Busby. “We wish him well. We’ll miss him like crazy.

“We tell our kids all the time, ‘E + R = O’. We can’t control the event, but our response will dictate the outcome. We’ve got to respond to this just like we ask our kids to.”

The move ends Busby’s second stint with the Raider program. Initially, he joined the staff of former Spring Hill coach Jason Scharsch in 2012 but left along with Scharsch at the end of an 0-10 campaign. After a winless 2013 as coach at Richland, Busby then spent two seasons as an assistant at Giles County before returning to join Jay Emmons with the Raiders.

“It was fantastic – so family oriented,” he said of his initial Spring Hill experience. “Everybody knew everybody cared about each other, to the point you really didn’t even feel the struggle.

“It was definitely a fun ride (the second time) during the ‘Dontae (Smith) years’.”

After back-to-back playoff appearances under Emmons, the Raiders struggled the past two years with back-to-back 1-9 finishes. Still, last year’s defense posted a takeaway, a turnover on downs or a three-and-out possession on 48 percent of its series.

It’ll be that type success Busby hopes to see continue in a challenging Region 5-2A with Summertown.

“I’ve had some offers from some top-quality schools, but my wife and kids were happy where we were,” said the 40-year-old, who will serve as running backs and defensive line coach with the Eagles.

“With the Summertown community, the athletes we have across the board, and with Leslie Mote, who’s an excellent coach, football is going in the same direction as basketball, baseball and softball here.”

Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. E-mail:; Twitter: @mopatton_sports.

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