Williams, Tigers open practice Monday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mike Williams has a history of turning football programs around.

Williams led Samson to its first undefeated season in school history in 1980. A year later, he led Conecuh County High to its first winning season in school history.

Then in 1986 he led Carroll High of Ozark to its first seven-win season in 26 years.

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Williams is now being asked to bring some of that magic to his hometown school.

Williams was announced as Greenville's interim coach Thursday night to replace Alvin Briggs, who surprisingly resigned

almost two weeks ago, and Williams makes his debut as the Tigers' new coach during Monday afternoon's practice.

"My staff and I will be working this weekend to put a good practice plan together so that way we'll be on the same page on Monday," Williams said.

Public high schools around the state are allowed to open practice on Monday.

Williams met with a majority of the players Friday morning for the first time, and he said that he was encouraged by the reaction from his players.

"We talked about the direction I want to see this program go, and they seemed excited," Williams said. "I told them what my expectations were for this program and what it would give them in return. I saw more players perk up in their chairs than to slide down in them when they heard what I had to say."

Williams returns to football after being away for almost

six years. After a two and a half seasons as head coach at Jacksonville State University, Williams took a leave from football. He spent three years as principal at Elba and then returned to Greenville in 2004 to take care of his ailing parents.

Coming into Monday's first practice session, Williams said that he will keep things simple and not throw the kitchen sink at his players. He said that he will use most of the time getting to know his players, who he had not even seen in action on film as of Friday afternoon.

"We will take it step by step in teaching them a new offense, defense and kicking game," Williams said.

Should Williams, 51, have a successful season at Greenville, would he remain as head football coach?

"We reached a gentlepersons agreement among the three of us (Greenville principal Dr. Kathy Murphy, schools superintendent Mike Looney and himself), that we would get together at the end of the season and evaluate the direction of the program and then decide if they or I want to continue to be here," Williams explained.