David Everson is the new head football coach for the Washington High School Blue Lions.
Everson was recommended to the Washington Court House City Schools Board of Education at a meeting Monday morning, Feb. 27.
The board voted unanimously, 5-0, approving the hire.
Everson becomes the 34th head coach in the program’s history.
He succeeds previous head coach Chuck Williamson, who coached the Blue Lions for seven seasons.
“I am proud to announce that after an extensive interview and vetting process, the committee to hire our next Blue Lion football coach unanimously felt that Coach Everson was the man to take the Blue Lion Football Program to the next level. We are excited to have him as part of our Blue Lion Family,” Washington City Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Bailey said.
“Washington High School Football has a proud tradition and we are fortunate to have the experience, dedication, and drive of Coach Everson to move us forward in our long and storied history of Blue Lion Football…Go Blue.”
The Record-Herald spoke with Coach Everson Monday.
“I was looking for an opportunity to be a head football coach,” Everson said. “I live in Columbus and I wanted to keep my search within a reasonable distance. I wanted to keep it within an hour.
“It’s a community-based school system that’s very strong,” Everson said. “It has a strong athletic tradition. (The football team) is coming off a good year (9-3 with a playoff win over Columbus South).
“Coach (Chuck) Williamson had a nice run there,” Everson said. “So, it wasn’t going to be a complete rebuild type of situation. Typically that’s what you run into a lot of times when you apply for jobs to be a head football coach.
“I was very impressed with the facilities, the community and their support for the school district, and the athletics,” Everson said. “That’s very, very important to me. That’s the kind of community and the kind of school system that I want to be a part of.”
Everson is under contract with his current position as intervention specialist at Marysville High School until the end of this school year. Everson will also be an intervention specialist at Washington High School.
Everson will be meeting students from Washington High School who plan on playing football this coming summer and fall Thursday.
The community is invited to the campus of Washington High School Thursday evening at Liberty Hall to meet Coach Everson, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Everson also said that Washington High School will be in session when Marysville is on Spring Break, so he plans to visit WHS during that time, as well.
“The OHSAA (Ohio High School Athletic Association) has changed its policy to where they’re now going to allow high school coaches of fall sports to starting working with athletes on May 15 and beyond, to actually do some coaching,” Everson said. “So, we’re going to utilize about three days of that towards the latter part of May before school is out, that way we will have an opportunity to get some things accomplished.
“I’ll get to meet with the kids Thursday,” Everson said. “I’ll get some information from them. We’ll do some Zoom meetings, things of that nature, to get to know them. Not too much football, but just to get to know what these kids are all about; what motivates them, what their hobbies are, so we can begin to build that relationship that’s so important to me.”
Everson especially wants to meet any players who will be seniors next school year.
“This is going to be an extremely important year,” Everson said. “It’s going to be their senior year. I’m going to be counting on them for a lot of leadership in the transition. I’m very excited.”
What about the next Blue Lion football coaching staff?
“Everybody knows that with coach Williamson leaving and his boys also leaving, as well, and he had some people who were pretty connected with him, so, it’s going to create a pretty big void in the varsity staff,” Everson said. “There are some guys currently that are there that I’m going to talk to and welcome back. I’ll start that process with them on Thursday.
“Then we’ll go from there and see what our needs are going to be,” Everson said. Putting together a coaching staff is in what Everson said was his “30 to 60 day plan.”
“I’m not going to rush to make a quick decision on (assistant coaches),” Everson said. “I have to think big picture and long term. I want to take my time and make sure I get the right people in place.”
Everson spoke a bit about some things that may look the same and some things that may be different about Blue Lion football under his leadership.
“Offensively, there will be a lot of similarities,” Everson said. “Probably a little more balance than maybe what I saw from last year. That’s no disrespect to Coach Williamson. I know he threw the ball quite a bit. We will throw the ball…I’m an old high school quarterback, myself. My son was a quarterback at Zanesville (High School). I’m very passionate about utilizing the quarterback skills so, we will throw it, as well.
“We’re going to be a little heavier in the run game,” Everson said. “I believe you have to have a solid run game to win at the highest level of high school football. We’ll utilize our personnel and be very diverse on offense. I think it’ll be an exciting brand of football.
“Defensively, I think we’ll probably be a lot different than maybe what they’ve been, at least the film that I was able to see from last year,” Everson said. “We’ll be in a four-man front, kind of a two-high safety structure, and rotate our coverages, strong-weak, or perhaps play some two deep schemes and mix in some man blitz types of schemes, as well.
“We’ll be aggressive on both sides of the ball and hopefully have answers for how defenses are attacking us,” Everson said. “We have a diverse schedule, from a Western Brown who is going to throw the ball all over the place, to a Jackson who’s going to try and run it down your throat. We have to have an answer for both.
“We open up with London, they’re going to be very, very physical,” Everson said.
Into the more philosophical side, how does Everson see the overall view of coaching these young men?
“I want our kids to really focus on the things we can control,” Everson said. “That’s how we conduct ourselves in the classroom, in the community and on the football field. I want the community to be proud of what they see on Friday nights, at home as well as on the road when we’re representing Washington Court House High School and the Blue Lion football program.
“We’re leaders of men,” Everson said. “I try to stay pretty even keel. It goes back to playing quarterback in high school and coaching my boys; inside there’s a lot of fire burning and intensity, but, you have to really be that steady force for those kids. When things are going well, we don’t get too high; when things are going badly, we certainly don’t get too low.
“I think if you approach it with more of a consistency mindset, you have a tendency to be successful over the long haul, more consistently, and that’s certainly the goal that I have,” Everson said.
Everson was a linebackers coach for Marysville High School this past fall and has had stints as a head coach at Zanesville High School (2004-06), Bloom Carroll High School (2010-11), Morgan High School (2008-09), and Richmond Edison High School (2001-03).
From 2015-19, Everson was the defensive coordinator at Zanesville High School. He has also served as an assistant coach at Capital University during his coaching career.
Coach Everson graduated from Ohio State in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He later earned a Master of Arts in Sport Administration from OSU in 1999, and in 2020, he earned a master’s degree in education from Baldwin Wallace University.
Everson, 53, talked for a bit about his family.
“My wife, Stacey, is a retired school teacher who currently works for the Ohio Department of Education,” Everson said. “We’ll have been married eight years in July. We have a blended family of five.
“My three are Andrew, he’s 23 and a senior at Capital University,” Everson said. “He played football. He played wide receiver for them. I have a daughter, Sydney. She is a respiratory therapist student who works at Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark. My youngest, Ben, he’s a junior at Capital University. He’s a quarterback there for Capital. He was an All-Ohio football player at Zanesville High School.
“I have two lovely step-daughters,” Everson said. “Melaney is employed in and lives in Columbus. Makenna will graduate from Ohio University in May with a major in business finance and marketing.”