COVINGTON, Ga. — Anthony Williams has quickly immersed himself into Eastside High School in more ways than one. Entering just his second year as an Eagle, Williams has taken on many roles to help serve the school and its students.
The newest addition to the list of Williams’ roles is being promoted to serve as the head boys varsity soccer coach. It’s an opportunity Williams accepted with much anticipation.
“When I first got to Eastside, I was welcomed with open arms,” Williams said. “I think what excites me is the opportunity to be a head coach. I’ve been a [junior varsity] head coach, but to be a head coach of a varsity program excites me the most.”
Eastside’s athletic director, Champ Young informed The Covington News of Williams' promotion on June 21. In fact, Williams is promoted to fill a position previously held by Young since 2012.
Serving as his assistant for a season, Young believes Williams’ familiarity with the Eagles program will pay huge dividends during the transition period.
“Continuity with the kids was a big factor [in our decision],” Young said. “He’s also very methodical in how he approaches the coaching acumen level. He has a love for the game. But it was very important to us to have some continuity with us going to a new building and having a coaching change. He brings a lot to the table.”
Williams is a product of Union Grove High School in McDonough where he graduated as part of the 2010 class. There, he was a three-year starter for the Wolverines’ football team and was a 4-star defensive lineman.
Upon his high school graduation, Williams received an athletic scholarship to the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and was a member of the Yellow Jackets’ football program for four years.
Williams earned a business administration degree before leaving The Flats.
Now, even though Williams does not have any experience playing soccer himself on any level, he brings in a vast knowledge of the sport through his time as a coach.
In addition to his year of service as Young’s varsity assistant last season, Williams served as a varsity assistant for Locust Grove High School’s for four and a half years. He was also Locust Grove’s junior varsity head coach for its boys soccer program.
Throughout his time as a soccer coach, Williams has taken heed to one commonality when it comes to running a successful soccer program.
“I think a lot that I plan to implement is communication,” Williams said. “When the guys communicate, everything starts to trickle down together. I think communication on the soccer field, or any field, helps lead to success. Not only on the field, but off the field as well. Making sure everybody is on one page of, not only the goal but the plan to achieve that goal.”
Not only does Williams believe his time as a varsity assistant and junior varsity head coach has helped prepare him, but he credited his relationship with Young as a benefactor to help lead the Eagles program.
“It was an amazing opportunity to be with [Young] this past year,” Williams said. “How he relates to the players, it was amazing to see how kids on each level had so much respect for him and still do. He set a great example on being the head coach on and off the field.”
Additionally, Williams stressed how Young staying around as athletic director played a huge part in him saying “yes” to the promotion opportunity.
Being the head varsity boys soccer coach is just one of many responsibilities Williams will take on during the 2022-23 school year, though.
Williams will be the varsity football team’s defensive line coach and the junior varsity head football coach. Away from sports, Williams is also Eastside’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) advisor while also teaching the Business Technology course.
But when forecasting what the next year is going to look like for Eastside boys soccer, Williams stated he’s wanting to send a “reminder” of how successful the program can be.
“You want to be a part of big competition and compete against the best,” Williams said. “And rolling into this year, it’s not going to be a rebuild, but more of a reminder of what Eastside soccer is capable of being. There is a new head coach, but we still want Eastside to be solidified as one of the top programs, not only in the state, but in the country.”