Former NFL player Tremain Mack is new coach for Thomas Jefferson football

Mack spent 12 years at Mount Rainier High School prior to taking over the Raiders.

The Thomas Jefferson High School football team will have a former NFL Pro Bowler walking the sidelines for the 2024 fall season.

Tremain Mack made his way down from Mount Rainier High School, where he had been coaching since 2012, and will now be the play caller for the Raiders.

“My goal is to effect the culture in a positive way so it creates the outcomes that we want to get,” Mack said.

Mack has a decorated football locker from his playing days. He was a part of the famous University of Miami teams with the likes of Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp and Edgerrin James. Mack also played baseball and ran track and field while at Miami.

Mack also worked his way to the NFL and was a fourth-round pick back in 1997 (111th overall) to Cincinnati. While with the Bengals, Mack became the primary return specialist. During the 1999 season with Cincy, Mack recorded a career high of 1,382 return yards, earning him a Pro Bowl nod that season.

Leaving a job after 12 years is a big deal, but a deal that Mack felt he needed. He called the change in scenery a “needed change.”

“As far as my development and ability to reach… I have always effected change positively in communities that needed it,” he said

Coaching is more than football for Mack. The connection that he makes with his players through football comes first — wins and losses follow. Building a foundation and building out from that foundation is where Mack sets his sights: “The greatest thing as a coach, biggest payment I can have is when a kid calls me and asks me to go to his wedding. Or a kid tells me something I said is how he runs his business… That is far more important.”

This year is the first time in a long time that Mack will not be wearing the Carolina blue and navy, but he is excited to get to work with a school he is pretty familiar with: “I thought to myself they (TJ) have a lot of talent.”

Throughout Mack’s tenure at Mount Rainier High School, the Rams were a highly respected program. His players played hard and played with respect, something that he hopes to bring to Thomas Jefferson — and that starts with accountability.

Since the pandemic, the Raiders’ overall record is 9-22 (.290 winning percentage). Going into summer camp, the focus is on a few expectations for the Raiders. Football isn’t a sport that you can play for two weeks, then just get into gameplay.

“I want the kids to be here, that is the expectation. So that they can be healthy coming into the fall,” Mack said.

“A successful summer for me is teaching the kids the things they need to learn. Two, having them here and creating chemistry and keeping everyone safe and healthy is a successful summer,” said Mack.

Now that he is a head of one of the four Federal Way school football programs, Mack is going to get three rivalry games this year. Additionally, all three games will be league games with more on the line in Mack’s first year.

“I’ve seen it from the outside looking in… But I am interested in feeling it out and seeing what it is about. It’s new to me…I am looking forward to getting it back to where it used to be as far as rivalries go,” Mack said.

Tremain Mack, new head coach for the Thomas Jefferson High School football team, works with the defense. Ben Ray / The Mirror

Tremain Mack, new head coach for the Thomas Jefferson High School football team, works with the defense. Ben Ray / The Mirror