Jeremy Muyres, 28, is in his first school year as a teacher, basketball coach and football coach at Norcross High School. The 1999 Parkview grad, whose wife Jennifer is a teacher and cheerleading coach at Archer High, worked in the private business sector until last month.
Muyres was a standout player at Parkview, following his accomplished older siblings Aimee, Jeff and Jon. He was a junior on the Panthers' first football state championship team and went on to become a three-time All-ACC defensive back at Georgia Tech.
In this latest installment of "Getting to Know...," Muyres talks with sports editor Will Hammock about the transition to education, his family's legacy and winning a home run derby with Jeff Francoeur.
WH: You worked for years in the construction industry. What led you into teaching and coaching?
JM: What pretty much led me was sports has always been my passion and my other passion was trying to help kids out. At the end of the day, after three weeks here, I feel like my life is more fulfilling I'd say. When you go home every single day, you know you're doing something useful with your time. Those are probably the two main things that led me to this.
WH: What was the transition to educator like?
JM: It's pretty similar (to my other jobs) with the organizational skills and the skills you picked up in the private sector. You're talking to more adults in the private sector and now you're talking to teenagers. School is fast-paced. As soon as the bell rings, you've got to be somewhere. It's different in that respect. But it's gone pretty smooth. I've had a lot of support here at Norcross.
WH: You were certainly an accomplished football player. You were a good athlete in basketball, too. How would you rate your basketball skills? You were more raw in basketball from what I remember.
JM: I would say so. That was the main thing about high school. I knew football was going to be my sport. I loved the game of basketball. I put as much effort as I could into basketball, but football took up a lot of time. If I just played basketball, I would have had more time to shoot more and practice more.
WH: Do you think you could take (fellow Norcross assistant and former football star) Marcus Jackson in a game of one-on-one?
JM: I think easily. I think I'd have him on quickness. He may be able to throw me around though.
WH: What about in a fight?
JM: I think he may get me there. He'd have to catch me first.
WH: You had some showdowns with (Norcross assistant) Reggie Stancil (a former Colquitt County quarterback) back in the day.
JM: We had a few, one in particular back in high school.
WH: You picked him off four times in the semifinals at the Dome, right? Have you reminded him of that?
JM: No, I haven't. I'll let him bring it up.
WH: You intercepted four passes in a game on two different occasions, didn't you? Were you wondering why they kept throwing at you?
JM: Yeah, Brookwood my sophomore year, too. I was glad they did. The more balls I could see the better. My senior year was a different story. I didn't get that many thrown at me. I wasn't going to take any plays off.
WH: What football coaches have you learned the most from?
JM: There are so many. I would say at the high school level, it would be hard to name one. Each one had a different impact on me. At the high school level, definitely Coach (Cecil) Flowe, Coach (Robert) Hill, there are so many. Coach (Larry) Massey, Coach (Todd) Salo, Coach (Neal) Auer, Coach (Jerry) Stewart. Honestly, pretty much every coach I had, had an impact in my life. At the college level, definitely Ted Roof had an impact. And Coach (George) O'Leary.
WH: Who was the best player you went against in college? Who scared you the most?
JM: I'd say the guy probably I didn't want to tackle was Greg Jones of Florida State. The guy was a fit 250 (pounds), not an ounce of fat on his body. He was one of the hardest guys to hit.
WH: What about high school? Who was the best guy you went against?
JM: Went against, I'm not sure. I'd have to think for awhile. Probably the best guy I saw in person was Jamal Lewis at Douglass. I never played against him though.
WH: Do you think Gwinnett football's much different now from when you played?
JM: I think it has a little bit. Teams have gone up and down. It's hard to tell with the way Parkview was, the fan support and the community. I think the difference may be in the shift to northern teams in the county being stronger, northern and western teams in county. The region we're in now (7-AAAAA) has been more of the powerhouse. But there's still a high level of football in Gwinnett. That has never changed.
WH: Is it nice to say you were on Parkview's first state football championship team?
JM: It is. I think the foundation was laid with my brothers (Jeff and Jon) and those guys. But to win the first one, you started it. That gave the footprint that it can be done. It gave the program confidence it can be done. We expected to be there every year after that.
WH: How hard was it being the youngest of such an accomplished Parkview family? You were the best Muyres kid though, right?
JM: I like to kid my brothers and sisters about that. Early on coming up through high school, my eighth- and ninth- and 10th-grade years, there was a lot of pressure put on me to follow in the footsteps of my siblings. But it helped me knowing where the bar was set. And going up against my brothers every day growing up helped. We had that competition that helped me in the sports I played and made me a tougher person.
WH: How does the Muyres family stack up with the Francoeurs?
JM: I think we're definitely competitive families. They definitely have us in baseball. We had that extra boy in there. ... We're alike families. We're both competitive. I think that's why I get along with Jeff so well. I tell him the only time we played home run derby I won it. I won't give him the rematch though.
WH: When was that?
JM: My senior year in high school.
WH: So how old was he?
JM: He was a freshman, but that didn't matter.
WH: Your family is so connected in people's memories with Parkview. Is it difficult to wear Norcross gear? Is it weird?
JM: Maybe at first, but it wasn't long. You look at the effort and coaching staff we have here. It's really not hard to give your loyalty to Norcross with the people we have in place here.
WH: Are you enjoying the teaching and coaching? Is this a long-term career for you?
JM: Yeah, I'm loving it. The kids are why you love it. We have really good kids here at Norcross. Every second in classroom, the gym, the field is worth it. That's why it's worth it. The coaching, the film and the preparing is not what you do it for. You do it to work with the kids.