Tigers need to build on foundation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2006

When Charles Henderson coach Hugh Fountain found out from Greenville coach Mike Williams that he was interested in staying at as the Tigers' head coach, Fountain said he wasn't sure if that was good news or bad.

It was both.

It was good news for Greenville and a struggling Tiger football program and bad news for veteran coaches like Fountain.

Email newsletter signup

&#8220When he told me in December he was thinking of staying (at Greenville), obviously as an opponent, that was bad news,” Fountain said. &#8220He was good for the area because he's an established football coach.”

Now that doesn't matter because Williams has accepted a position to be assistant head football coach at the University of Tennessee-Martin.

As a matter of fact, the good news for coaches like Fountain is that Greenville will once again have a new coach for the third time in less than two years.

The bad news is that a quality coach like Williams is leaving the area.

&#8220I thought he did a great job last year,” Fountain said. &#8220The games they played late, they went on to beat Booker T. Washington, and Booker T. Washington beat us. They just played better football toward the end of the season, and to me, that ‘s a reflection of the coach.”

Now Greenville is looking for a new coach to continue what Williams began in late July last year. Williams began to instill a work ethic in the players that they obviously did not have in prior years. Williams also introduced the players to a weight program that began to show instant results. And as those results began to increase, so did the excitement in the players and prospective players looking ahead to next season.

The key now will be for the next head coach to continue to build on the foundation that Williams and his staff has laid. He told his players Thursday, when he announced he was leaving, that just because he's leaving it doesn't mean that the weight training ends.

That will be a key to Greenville's success. It was obvious this past season that the Tigers were competitive in most of the games they played, but could not play at that level for four quarters because of poor conditioning.

Fountain said when he took over at Charles Henderson 10 years ago after leaving W.S. Neal, that he found the best strength and conditioning coach possible to train his players and get them in the best physical condition.

That may be the key to Greenville's success.

Sure the Tigers need stability and a leader in their new coach, but a fulltime strength and conditioning coach wouldn't be a bad idea.

Sure that may be asking a bit much when we are talking about a public Class 5A school, but that is the way of the future in high school football and athletics.

While it may be a sad day in Butler County because Williams is leaving, according to Georgiana coach Greg Ennis, it is time to look forward to see who will build on Williams' foundation that has been laid to revive Greenville as one of the top football powers in this area.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail kevin.taylor@greenvilleadvocate.com.