Walker goes East for new football coach
by Greg Oshust
goshust@mdjonline.com
February 10, 2012 12:38 AM | 5302 views | 8 8 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John East
John East
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Walker conducted a national search to find its new football coach.

In the end, however, the school found its man right in its own back yard.

John East, the former athletic director and a coach of multiple sports at Whitefield Academy, was named the Wolverines’ new football coach Wednesday.

East, who will also serve as an assistant athletic director at Walker, as well as an assistant coach on the school’s new junior varsity lacrosse team, replaces Ben Williamson, who stepped down in November after four years at the helm.

“I’m so excited to have this opportunity,” East said. “I had some (athletic director) opportunities, and some other football opportunities, but Walker was absolutely the best opportunity for me. It’s a tremendous school with tremendous people, and I can’t wait to get started.”

East was the choice of a nine-person search committee that represented by a number of groups from the Walker School community. The school received around 160 resumes from all across the nation for the position.

“I’m extremely excited about John joining our staff,” athletic director Gary Blohm said. “The most important thing about John is that he is a man of integrity. It was important to have somebody to run the program that has the kids’ best interest at heart, and John is that man. He brings so many things to the program. He’s a builder and not a maintainer. He is going to build such an excitement for the program that a number of kids will want to be a part of the program. John has a strong passion for football and he brings a wealth of knowledge. He will bring a balance to the program.

East also brings plenty of experience to the job, with 36 years in coaching. He coached high school football in New Orleans and at the Lovett School in Atlanta. He has also coached a number of other sports on the high school level.

East’s most recent stop was at Whitefield, where he spent seven years as the athletic director before stepping down following the 2010-11 school year. In his time with the Wolfpack’s athletic program, East never coached the football team, but he did coach a variety of other sports there, including wrestling, volleyball, lacrosse, golf and track and field.

East is inheriting a Walker team that has experienced three consecutive 3-7 seasons and hasn’t had a winning season since a 6-4 mark in 2006.

For East, building the Wolverines’ program is the top priority.

“I look at this as a complete program,” he said. “Varsity, JV, middle school — it’s all part of the same program. I have plenty of experience building programs. I’ve coached a lot of sports, but football is my passion and I look forward to building a strong program at Walker.”

East said he will be flexible on offense and defense, running multiple formations on both sides of the ball.

“On offense, we’re going to run and pass the ball,” East said. “On defense, I don’t want to get locked in (on one formation). It will depend on the other team and what they will do. We will be aggressive. We’re going to go at it hard.”

East’s first Walker team will be joined in a reconfigured Region 6A by his employer-turned-rival Whitefield, as well as fellow county rivals Mount Paran Christian and North Cobb Christian.

East will step on the field for the first time as Walker’s coach when the Wolverines’ host Landmark Christian for a preseason scrimmage Aug. 17. The Wolverines will then host Temple in their regular-season opener a week later.

Taking it one game at a time will be East’s approach in his first year at the Walker helm.

“I would love to win region, not so much for the trophy, but so we can play our first two state playoff games at home,” East said. “That would be the most important thing — playing our first two state playoff games at home. Other than that, the most important thing for me is simply to win the next game. I just want to focus on the game at hand and take it week by week.”
Comments
(8)
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Billy Edens
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August 25, 2012
The wolverines sure looked good last night...my 5 year old granddaughter cheering before the game probably made that happen!
Doc Holliday
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February 13, 2012
Fred,

WA didn't "let him go." He left for Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. and the position fell through.

So, Walker picked him up.

Like I said, good and very respected athletic director, that's why Pine Crest offered the job, but he isn't known as a strong football coach.

I certainly hope that if he could have made a big impact on the Whitefield football program, he would have at least been on the staff.

Think about it...
Walker Fan
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February 15, 2012
Hey Fred, could you enlighten us with the career record and past experience Coach East has had as a varsity football coach. It seems to be a mystery so far. Certainly 8 years without coaching football makes this a strange hire.
Walker Mom
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October 20, 2012
Congrats to Coach East for a 7-0 varsity season!

Best of luck for future success! Walker welcomes you!
Wyatt Earp
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February 10, 2012
Questionable hire, East is a good athletic director.

Hasn't had success as a varsity football coach, or he would have done more with the staff at Whitefield.

This also takes the WA/Walker rivalry to the next level.
Walker Fan
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February 11, 2012
Let me see if I understand, there supposedly is a coach on the Walker staff who who has over 30 years of coaching experience as a varsity football coach who was a defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator, and head coach for several years, and after an extensive national search, the person found in the "backyard" was someone who has never been a head football coach and has not coached football at all for the past 7 years. As they say on ESPN, Come on man.
Fred jacks
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February 11, 2012
Wyatt you have no clue what you are talking about. He is going to be a lot better than most think and Whitefield was stupid for letting him go. Excited to see the change Coach East is going to bring to Walker football.

Fred Johnson
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February 10, 2012
Congratulation John East, a great leader! John will perform excellent things at Walker.
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