Most coaches look to move up the ladder to a school in a higher classification. Jason Williams is an exception.
After leading Mississippi-based Laurel (Miss) High to the Class 4A semifinals the past two seasons, the 36-year-old coach has been hired as the boys basketball coach at Class 2A Springfield High.
“I was looking for a place that would offer the best environment for my family,” Williams said. “I think Springfield is that place. It’s similar in size to the school I went to.
“The school district is one of the best academically in the nation. And I did some research and found out how successful the program has been. I spent three days there during my spring break and was real impressed with the school and the students.”
Williams’ 2012-13 Laurel team compiled a 26-6 record. A graduate of North Forrest High, located near Hattiesburg, Williams received a bachelor’s degree in history/education from Southern Mississippi in 2001. He earned a master’s degree from William Carey College in 2008 and will teach history and government at Springfield, SHS Principal Norm Picou said.
“He’s a great coach, but the thing that really set his apart from the other candidates was his academic credentials,” Picou said. “He’s AP (Advanced Placement program) certified in government, and that fits with the mission of our school. We also think he’ll be a great role model for our students.”
Williams takes over a Livingston Parish-based Springfield program that won a Class 2A title in 1997 and competes in a competitive District 8-2A that includes the 2012-13 2A runner-up, St. Thomas Aquinas. He replaces John Hill, who will remain at the school as the head volleyball and girls track coach,while also looking to move into administration. Picou said Williams was one of 40 applicants for the job.