Chuck Williamson announced on Friday, Jan. 20 that he is stepping down as head football coach at Washington High School, effective immediately.
Williamson spent the past seven seasons at Washington, leading the Blue Lions to a record of 42-27.
Washington was 1-3 in the playoffs (those games being played in 2020, ‘21 and this past season.)
Washington defeated Columbus South in a high-scoring playoff game on Oct. 28, 61-54.
Williamson forever endeared himself to Blue Lion football fans by leading his team to a 6-1 record against their staunch rivals, Miami Trace.
Williamson, 61, will be the new head football coach at Marion Harding High School.
Williamson said he was contacted by people at the school.
“They asked me if I would talk with them, and I did,” Williamson said. “I went through the process and they selected me.
“I’ve been at Court House seven years now,” Williamson said. “My goal was to come and change the culture, change the losing mentality. I think we’ve done that.”
It’s one more challenge for a man who has welcomed that, as coaches often must, over the years.
“I’m getting to the twilight of my career,” Williamson said. “(Marion Harding) was 1-9 last year. It’s a chance, one more time — it’s a big challenge — I like challenges. It’ll be a challenge to go in there and flip them into winners. It’s just something I’d like to do.”
Williamson said that his son, Trent (former Blue Lion defensive coordinator), is going to be the head coach at Westland High School. Williamson’s other son, Deric (former Blue Lion offensive assistant coach), will also go to Westland to be their offensive coordinator. Nobody (else) from the Court House staff is going with me.”
It was a good run at Washington, Williamson said.
“In my time at Court House, they’ve been very, very good to me,” Williamson said. “I can’t say enough about (Athletic Director) Greg Phipps, or (Superintendent) Dr. (Tom) Bailey. They did everything they could to try and keep me here. They went above and beyond to try and keep me here.
“It was just one of those gut feeling things,” Williamson said. “Sometimes you just feel like it’s the right time to move. I love Court House. The people, the fans were awesome. Everybody around me, our staff was awesome. I’m so privileged to have had the opportunity to coach at Washington.”
Willliamson said that his last day at Washington City Schools will be Feb. 28 and that he will start at Marion Harding on March 1.
“Chuck Williamson has been a great football coach, but, more importantly a great person to be an example to the kids,” Washington High School Athletic Director Greg Phipps said. “I can’t say enough about how much he did outside the game of football for Washington Court House City Schools.
“He cares about the kids’ well-being and their health,” Phipps said. “He would go the extra mile. He was very supportive of his players that went on to the next level. The contacts that he had and the time he spent doing that was just invaluable.”
Washington wanted Williamson to stay, Phipps said.
“Dr. Bailey and myself tried every avenue possible that we were capable of doing to get him to stay,” Phipps said. “He thought it was best to move on. We understand that, and of course, without a doubt, we hope the best for him. He will be missed greatly.”
As for hiring the next head football coach, Phipps said it is hoped to have a new coach on board sooner, rather than later.
Phipps said the Washington coaching position has been posted to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s website. Also that a committee will be formed to help make the decision on whom to hire.
The deadline for applicants to submit their résumé is Friday, Feb. 3.
“We are looking for a person who has already been a head coach,” Phipps said. “Somebody that’s had varsity (coaching) experience, too.
“There’s a whole lot more that we’re going to be looking for than just a football coach,” Phipps said.
Phipps said that there is no exact timeline on when the new coach will be hired.
“Without a doubt, we want a head coach as soon as possible,” Phipps said. “Beginning June 1, there will be football camps and things like that. We want the head coach to come in and be able to spend some time with the kids before they leave school in May. We want to have a new coach well before May.
Another factor in the hiring is the teaching position of the prospective new coach and the availability of that job at the school. While not mandatory, according to Phipps, it’s very necessary that the new coach be a teacher on the campus, being able to communicate with middle school as well as high school kids.