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Howard J. "Monk" Tomlinson

1935 - 2016
Howard J. "Monk" Tomlinson Obituary
Howard J. "Coach Monk" Tomlinson

Howard John Tomlinson ("Coach Monk"), passed peacefully January 4th, 2016 at his son's home in Houston, TX. He was born December 15, 1935 in the Wissahickon District of Philadelphia, PA. He moved to Norfolk, VA. where he began his high school football career at Maury High in 1951 graduating in 1953. He was named the All Tidewater and All State center/linebacker in his senior year as well as being the Most Valuable Player in Norfolk and All Southern.

Mr. Tomlinson was recruited by the Southern and ACC conference schools, VMI, Florida State, and Tennessee before choosing William and Mary. He made the varsity team for the Tribe in his freshman season. He played guard and tackle at at W&M in '55, '57, and '58 garnering All Southern Conference accolades.

In the summers of '57 and '58 he counseled at Boston University's Sargeant Camp of New Hampshire where he met Coach Boydson Baird a former W&M basketball coach. Coach Baird brought him in to his first coaching position at Maryville College in 1959 as the Offensive Line Coach and he became Head Coach for the Scots in 1964, coached Track and Field, and taught in the classroom as well. The Track program was a total rebuild and achieved great respectability.

Coach Tomlinson received his Masters at The University of Tennessee in 1971. He joined the Tennessee Tech University coaching staff in 1971 as the Offensive Backfield Coach. The Golden Eagles won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in 1973 and attended the Grantland Rice Bowl.

Coach Tomlinson joined the Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM of Monroe) coaching staff in 1974 as Offensive Backfield Coach, then taking over the Offensive Line in 1987 as well as becoming Recruiting Director. The Indians became one of the best Division II/1A programs in the country winning the Division II National Championship in 1984

He joined the Tulane University coaching staff with Coach Mack Brown in 1984 from there he joined The University of North Carolina coaching staff with Coach Brown in 1987 as the interior offensive line for 2 years before becoming Associate Athletic Director for Football at UNC until his retirement in 2000. This was a great era for UNC achieving Top 20 status multiple times and playing in several bowl games. He retired and remained in the Chapel Hill area until 2015.

He is proceeded in death by his Mother Pearl Schiller Wright and his Step-Father Max Wright of Payson, AZ.

Coach Tomlinson inspired many young football players on the field as well as in life after their last football game. He was active in the Town & Country neighborhood organization the "Jana Street Trash" of Monroe, LA. He was also an avid fisherman and golfer. He was truly a genuine Father, Grandfather & Great Grandfather.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Shirley Burgess Tomlinson, originally from Norfolk, Virginia now in Houston; son, John Curtis of Houston; and daughter, Julie Anne of Mandeville, LA. He is also survived by his two granddaughters, Hannah Elizabeth Broussard Gaude and Kellilauren Katherine Broussard; his son-in-law, Edwin Bennett Gaude, Jr.; and his pride and joy, a great-grandson, Edwin Bennett Gaude, III ("Little Eddie).

There will be a Celebration of Coach Tomlinson's life held at the Black Bayou Wildlife Refuge Ampitheatre in Monroe, LA, Saturday, March 26th, 2016 from 3-5PM. All are invited and welcome to share a story or two with friends and family.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Friends of Black Bayou, Inc., PO Box 9241, Monroe, LA 71211, C/O Robert Eisenstadt-Treasurer.

Published in The News Star on Feb. 21, 2016
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