Legacies are not simply created, they are forged through hard work, perseverance, and confidence. In 1974, a spark of a legacy was started at Tumwater High School; one which would grow into a raging fire the next 43 years. This was due to one man: Sid Otton. Tumwater High School has had the pleasure of having Coach Sid Otton these past 43 years, and with his retirement following the 2016 football season, we are able to reflect on all the ways Coach Otton has affected not only the football program but the community as a whole.
When Coach Otton arrived at Tumwater in 1974, he introduced the title “Tumwater Winning Football,” a title which still inspires and motivates players today. In his entire football-coaching career, Coach Otton has been responsible for 395 wins. This makes him the “most winningest” coach in Washington State history, thus cementing his position among the greatest coaches of all time. At Tumwater High School, Coach Otton was responsible for 361 wins, and five state championship titles (four of which were within a six year period).
However, Sid Otton’s legacy is much more than numbers and statistics; his legacy stems from the impact which he has upon both his players and the community. Playing for Coach Otton, I learned not only how to be a better football player but also a better person. When Otton came to Tumwater High School, he introduced a creed upon which all players must strive to follow. He named it the “Tbird Creed.” This creed was based on seven staples: Accountability, “Blue Collar Worker,” Tbird Class, Competition, Super Unity, Super Tough, and the most important, “Never Give Up Never Never Give Up.” Through this creed, Coach Otton was able to reach his players and show them how to be both better players and better people for society.
Accountability teaches us to always accept fault for what we are responsible for, and to not try and blame it on someone else. “Blue Collar Worker” means to not be afraid to work hard to achieve one’s goals. Tbird Class is the principle of showing respect to everyone you meet in life, regardless of their background. “Always Compete” instills the idea that you must always be trying your hardest, no matter the task, because there will always be someone else you are competing with. Super Unity is the idea that our whole team is a union of brothers rather than a group of classmates, and that you can trust any teammate to support you should you
need it. Super Tough teaches us to be both mentally and physically tough, so that when times get rough we are able to withstand and persevere. Finally, the most important part of the creed is “NGUNNGU,” or, “Never Give Up Never Never Give Up.” This motto means that no matter what happens, no matter how stressful or difficult a situation is, you can never give up, and you must fight to come out on top. It is the motto that drives our football team, and a motto that sticks with every player after they have left the program and enter adulthood.
Coach Otton preached the creed day in and day out, to the point where it is engrained in every player’s soul. Through the introduction of this creed, a burst of confidence, and a supportive environment for his players, Coach Otton has forged a legacy unlike any other. This legacy Otton has created is one of extraordinary measures, and will forever be remembered by the Tumwater Community. Thank you Coach Otton.