At ICC, 'a great opportunity' for new football coach

FULTON – There were a few tense moments in the Jon Williams household over the weekend.
It was understandable. Williams, 36, had been offered the opportunity to become Itawamba Community College’s head football coach. He told his wife, Lisa, that he had talked with ICC president David Cole about the position.
“I told her the president had called me in to talk about this job,” he said, moments after being introduced Tuesday as ICC’s head coach at a news conference in the Student Services Building.
The Williams’ young son, Cole, was eating supper and listening in.
“He dropped his fork and said, ‘Daddy, you talked with President Obama today?’ ” Williams said, then chuckled. “In all the seriousness of coaching changes, coaching hires and jobs, it all gets too serious at times.
“What Cole said kind of broke the ice. This is supposed to be fun. This is a great opportunity.”
Williams coached the offensive line, served as the running game coordinator and the recruiting coordinator for three seasons on former coach Jeff Terrill’s staff.
He came to ICC after coaching stops at Mississippi College, Wayne County High School, Simpson Christian Academy, Locust Fork (Ala.) High School, East Central Community College and Wingate (N.C.) University, where he graduated in 1996 with a B.S. in Communications.
In two seasons as the head coach at Simpson Christian, his teams went 21-3 and won two district titles.
Williams was one three candidates considered for the position, which was vacated by Terrill last month after eight seasons. The other two coaches in the running were ICC offensive coordinator Jeff Carter and East Mississippi defensive coordinator William Jones.
“We didn’t want to be fast in our decision, we wanted to be right,” said Buddy Collins, ICC’s vice president for student services and member of the search committee. “There’s no doubt we were right. This is the right man for the job.”
A native of Panama City, Fla., Williams says the Indians will look first to in-district players to build their program. He praised the five-county district’s coaches.
“There’s good talent here,” he said. “We’re going to take care of that talent and keep them home.”
ICC offensive center Sam Marshall, a Fulton native who played for Williams this season, believe the Indians made the right choice.
“Coach Marshall a really good fit for this program,” he said. “He’s got a great knowledge of the game and he’s a great motivator.
“He knows how to work you hard for sure,” Marshall added, then smiled.
Williams said decisions on his staff would likely come after the holidays.
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593 or gene.phelps@djournal.com

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal