Prep football: Winfield's Wilson resigns
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Class AAA football will have another new face in the Kanawha Valley in 2012.
Winfield Coach Willie Wilson is the latest area coach to step down from his position.
"I'm a teacher first, and I always have been," said Wilson, who also resigned from his teaching position at Winfield and has accepted a position teaching science at Huntington High School.
"It's been there since the beginning of the year. They keep posting it and it's been tempting since I only live two miles away from Huntington High."
Wilson, who spent five years at Winfield and compiled a 19-31 record, joins former St. Albans Coach Derek Christian and former Nitro Coach John Painter among those who have stepped down from their posts since the end of the 2011 season.
The Generals went 5-5 in Wilson's final season, led by All-State defensive back David Gaydosz, a 5-foot-11, 195-junior who became the first Winfield player in more than a decade to rush for more than 1,000 yards as a running back. The team also featured senior kicker Andy Ellington, who broke the state record for field goals with 14, and was named a second-team All-State pick.
It was the closest Winfield has come to reaching the Class AAA playoffs since moving up from Class AA in 2008.
"It was a tough situation, going from double-A to triple-A with great skill people but double-A depth," Wilson said.
"I empowered my assistants to be the assistant that I always was. I think it worked. I think we did a lot of good things, just not to the level we had hoped.
"Expectations were high too, and I have no problem with that. My thing was that I've won three state championships in other sports, and I always wanted to opportunity to have a head coaching opportunity in West Virginia, which is hard to come by, especially one within driving distance."
Winfield's last playoff appearance came in 2005, when the Generals squeaked into the Class AA field as a No. 15 seed with a 5-5 record. They lost to No. 2 seed James Monroe, 61-7. The school, which has five state championships (1960, '61, '63, '85, '87) to its credit, has not won a playoff game since it beat Clay County, 17-14, in the first round of the 2000 Class AA playoffs.
Wilson coached Huntington East to the 1990 volleyball state championship and won softball titles at Huntington East in 1996 and at Huntington in 2007. He said he does not know if he will join the Huntington High staff under head Coach Billy Seals.
The Highlanders reached the Class AAA quarterfinals in 2011, falling to eventual state champion Martinsburg after beating Parkersburg in the first round.
"My son (Clark Wilson) was a ninth-grader at Winfield and we had high hopes for that. He'll go to Huntington High, but I don't know about coaching right now."
Wilson said he will still conduct the coaches certification courses he has offered to aspiring middle-and-high school coaches.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5170.