Wilson returns to coach at Georgiana

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 18, 2005

GEORGIANA - Ray Wilson is coming full circle.

Wilson's first job out of college was at Georgiana. Wilson's first coaching job was at Georgiana.

And now his first head football coaching job will be at Georgiana.

"I would have never dreamed (to take my first head job) at Georgiana," Wilson said. "Sometimes it's crazy to sit around and plan your future. Your plans and God's plans are not always the same."

Wilson coached softball and was defensive coordinator under Straughn head football coach Trent Taylor for a year. Before moving to Straughn, Wilson was defensive coordinator at Opp for 10 seasons.

"I'm very excited to have him lead this program," said Georgiana principal Keith York. "When I knew I was going to have to replace a coach, his name was the first to come to mind."

York, in fact, had to replace himself. York was head football coach for five seasons at Georgiana and was promoted from assistant principal to principal in May following the untimely death of Roland Pettie.

"I wasn't looking for someone who had the same coaching philosophy as myself," York said. "I was more impressed with the guys he's worked under. (Trent Taylor and Shane Wasden) know what's going on in the football world."

Wasden gave Wilson his first coaching job in 1995 as head junior varsity football coach. Wilson also coached the defensive backs and running backs for Wasden on the varsity.

Now, almost 20 years later, Wilson is returning to where his coaching career began.

"I feel like the program is in good shape now," Wilson said. "The football team's got a good nucleus coming back. It will be a tremendous place to get started."

Wilson's hire was approved Thursday night by the Butler County Board of Education.

While York has found a new head football coach, he is now searching for a boys basketball coach.

York said that coach Deryk Roberts was not returning to Georgiana, so now he is looking for a new coach. He said he hopes to have a replacement found by the next scheduled board meeting, which is slated for June 30.

Wilson said that he will begin work at Georgiana Monday by supervising the players' voluntary weight-training.

The Panthers' new coach said his first order of business is to get his coaching staff in place and then meet with the players before the end of June.

"I believe it all starts with team unity," Wilson said. "It's about those kids coming together for one common goal. It comes through discipline and (players) depending on each other and having confidence in each other on the field."

Since Wilson will not have had a chance to work with his new team on the field until August, he said the terminology and basic offensive and defensive sets for the Panthers will not change.