David Williams’ coaching career has taken him to four different schools in the SCA. Houston will be stop No. 5.
Williams was hired Monday night as the Tigers’ new football coach. He replaces Chris Edwards, who resigned last month after three seasons.
Williams, who has squared off against Houston throughout his career in the conference, said he believes he is joining a strong program and community.
“I’ve always felt that Houston is a good job for a coach and a strong football town,” Williams said. “They are very supportive of their teams, and their athletes always play hard and are competitive.”
Williams arrived in town Tuesday to meet the administrators and Brent Kell, who was named the school’s new athletic director. Edwards also previously held that position.
Williams was among 15 applicants for the head football coach vacancy. Four were interviewed.
“Coach Williams brings a wealth of success and experience to the HHS football program,” said high school principal Ben Yocom, who led the search committee. “He is a man of great integrity and loyalty. We are thrilled and excited to have him.”
A winning pedigree follows Williams to a program that has struggled in recent years. The Tigers had consecutive winless seasons before going 6-5 two years ago under Edwards. Last season, Houston was 2-8.
Williams has won district titles at all four of his stops — Cabool, Liberty, Mountain Grove and Ava. His 2004 Panthers advanced to the state semifinals, and two of his teams made the quarterfinals.
The top priority at Houston, Williams said, is increasing participation.
“That will be one of my focuses — getting those students that need to be out there to help the program,” he said. “I think once they do, they will enjoy it, and we will be competitive.”
The son of a football coach, Williams traditionally ran I-formation offenses. His most recent teams at Mountain Grove and Ava ran the spread. Defensively, Williams said he would run a 4-3 or 4-4.
“I’m very competitive. I’ll say that right off the bat. I don’t like to lose,” Williams said. “I’m not a big yeller and screamer on the field. I like to encourage and teach. A good coach is a good teacher.”
Kell, the girls’ varsity basketball coach, has been at Houston for 24 years. This will be his first stint as athletic director.
“Coach Kell will serve as a positive ambassador for our programs to the community,” Yocom said. ” His experience as a coach will also be a great benefit to our relatively young coaching staff. Coach Kell will also work hard to create a positive environment for our student athletes.”