E.A. Sports Today

Donoho promotes McWilliams

Defensive coordinator becomes Falcons’ head coach just in time to start spring practice

Andy McWilliams talks things over with the Donoho defense during a game last season. He was promoted to head coach Friday.

Andy McWilliams talks things over with the Donoho defense during a game last season. He was promoted to head coach Friday.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

When Jesse McWilliams left for school Friday morning, his father was his position coach on the Donoho football team. When he came home, his dad was his head coach.

Andy McWilliams, the architect of Donoho’s stingiest defenses, was promoted to the Falcons’ head coach Friday, culminating a post-spring break search to bring stability to the program following the departure of longtime head coach Shannon Felder.

“I’m excited,” Jesse said. “I think it will be a good senior year. I’m used to the whole dad/coach thing so that won’t be an issue for me this year.”

The elder McWilliams didn’t blindly throw his hat into the search. Jesse said he and his father “weighed the pros and cons of it as the process took its course.”

McWilliams becomes the seventh head football coach in the Falcons’ history and replaces their all-time winningest coach. He was their defensive coordinator whose unit recorded eight shutouts last season and allowed a school-record low 57 points.

Felder was the head football coach, athletics director and boys basketball coach. When he left, school officials said the priority was to find a head football coach/athletics director. McWilliams will be only the football coach.

It was not immediately known how the school planned to handle the athletics director and basketball vacancies.

With McWilliams already in house, it makes the transition smooth. He will begin preparing the Falcons to start spring practice May 4 and a May 14 spring game with Jacksonville Christian.

“I really appreciate the confidence Dr. (James) Hutchins and the school has shown in me to continue to carry the program forward and continue to build upon the success that we have been able to have over the last few years,” the new head coach said. “It will be a tremendous challenge for me and the team to match that, but I am confident we will both embrace that challenge and do our best to continue that success into the future.”



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