Walker’s Williamson steps down as coach
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
November 13, 2011 12:41 AM | 3031 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After four seasons at the Walker helm, Ben Williamson chose to relinquish his coaching duties, though he will remain at the school as a teacher and assistant AD.
<br>Staff photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
After four seasons at the Walker helm, Ben Williamson chose to relinquish his coaching duties, though he will remain at the school as a teacher and assistant AD.
Staff photo by Jon-Michael Sullivan
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After four seasons as Walker’s football coach, Ben Williamson said Saturday that it is time to shift directions.

Williamson resigned his coaching position, but he will remain at the school, continuing to serve as a teacher and assistant athletic director.

Walker completed the season Nov. 4 with a 35-14 victory over Mount Zion-Carroll to finish with a 3-7 record for the third year in a row. Williamson’s four-year record at the school stands at 11-29.

“We’re definitely closer than we have been,” Williamson said about becoming a contender for the postseason. “We have come a long way. I’m proud of the work we’ve done — it’s just time for someone else.”

Since Williamson arrived at Walker, building the school’s strength and conditioning program has been one of this primary focal points. He’s been successful in making the Wolverines a more physical team, but now he said the team has to do better recruiting more of its own students to come out for football.

As an assistant AD, Williamson said it is likely he will be involved in the search for the new coach. He said there have been some preliminary discussions as to what the search committee will look for in the program’s new leader.

The now-former coach said there are plenty of things that will make someone stop and take a look at Walker.

First, Williamson expects Walker to be placed in a new region that will allow it to be more competitive. Current Region 6A contenders Bremen, Bowdon, Darlington and Gordon Lee will likely be moved up to Class AA when the Georgia High School Association announces its realignment plans.

Second, the Wolverines will lose only four seniors to graduation, and third, 1,800-yard passer Sam Yarborough will return, as will Evan Kasian, the team’s leading rusher (1,247 yards) and third-leading receiver (403).

“I hope there will be some interest (in the job), and I think there will be,” Williamson said.

There is no current timetable for filling the position.

The new coach will be charged to do something Williamson was not able to do, despite all the program’s improvements — turn Walker into a consistent winner and return it to the postseason. To date, the Wolverines’ only playoff appearance came in 2005 under then-coach Frank Cuda, and they haven’t had a winning season since 2006.

While Williamson may be stepping aside now, it does not mean the 36-year-old is putting up his coaching whistle for good.

“I’m going to enjoy spending more time with my wife and kids,” he said. “We may consider other opportunities, but I would have no problem making a career here at Walker. Right now, it’s too early to know what to do.”
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