Williams 'fired up' to take over West Johnston program

Posted January 11, 2013

Assistant head football coach Jimmy Williams coaches from the sideline as West Johnston defeated Harnett Central 23-21. Photo By CHRIS BAIRD

The search for a new head coach at West Johnston High School didn't take long.

Jimmy Williams, an assistant coach at West Johnston, was promoted to the position of head football coach just two days after Randy Ragland announced he was leaving the school to take over the program at Fairmont High School.

"I'm extremely excited, I'm fired up," Williams said on Friday. "I think I'm at a good place with a dynamic principal and a dynamic administration that's willing to take West where they haven't been yet."

Williams has served as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at West Johnston for the past two years. Prior to that, Williams was an assistant at Leesville Road High School for one season and the head coach at East Wake High School for 14 years.

"Sometimes when you're at a place as long as I was you get into a habit of doing stuff you're comfortable doing. Now I've done some stuff at different schools and I'm ready to get back into it," said Williams.

In his time at East Wake, Williams compiled an 88-69 overall record, winning two Greater Neuse River Conference titles and two conference Coach of the Year awards.

Williams also served as the defensive coordinator in the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Football Game in 2009.

"We are excited for him to have the opportunity to continue working with the football program in this new role," West Johnston Principal Paula Coates said in a written statement.

Last season, the Wildcats compiled a 3-7 overall record, failing to make the N.C. High School Athletic Association state playoffs. But Williams thinks last year's young team provide a foundation to build on.

"It bodes well for experience. The facts are facts, we gave up too many points and didn't score enough points, but it's not that our kids weren't working hard," he said. "We now have a base to build on. We have a lot of guys coming back with defensive experience, but we're going to have to play some kids both ways a little bit."

Williams thinks the time away from being a head coach has him ready to take West Johnston to another level, having learned new things from other coaches.

"It's what you learn after you think you know it all that makes you grow and makes you better," he said.


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