Woodlawn didn’t have to go far to find its next football head coach.
Jerwin Wilson was ready and waiting.
Wilson, who was the Knights’ offensive coordinator last season, is entering his fifth year on staff at Woodlawn. This time, though, he is excited to take over as the new head coach.
“It is exciting and humbling, a big step in my career,” said Wilson, who was a candidate for the job last year before a search committee chose Robert Arvie, who is now at Richwood. “Any time you get a chance to impact kids lives like this, you can’t take that lightly. I look forward to this. I’ve been fortunate to be on the last two staffs, and we’ve put in a lot of hard work here. There are areas where we can grow, and hopefully I can bring that growth.”
Wilson’s loyalty to Woodlawn wasn’t unnoticed. Girls basketball coach and athletic director Patrick Lindsey was looking for someone who would bring stability to the football program.
“He is a great guy, a young coach with a hunger to get better and teach kids how to get better,” Lindsey said. “He’s weathered the storm at Woodlawn, and he is still there. I love Woodlawn to death, and I’m the longest tenured coach on staff at seven years. Through the ups and downs, I bleed royal blue, scarlet and white. I’ll be there til the doors close. Coach Wilson has stayed the course. Stability was key.”
Wilson’s familiarity with Woodlawn’s players will allow a smooth transition.
“The guys know me, and I’m firm but fair,” Wilson said. “The kids have been really receptive to me taking over. I told them no one cares about what we did last year. It’s all about next year now.
“I give all credit to God. You can’t just come to coach at Woodlawn. I feel like I was ordained to be here, almost like a pastor. I stayed on the staff last year. God spoke to me, and I can’t move when I want to move. I knew He had more work for me to do here.”
Wilson said he is already pushing his players to make improvements and get ready for next season.
“We need to work on overall strength,” Wilson said. “We are in the weight room, working as a team, not just as individuals. I tell them it’s not about just you. It’s about the whole team, and each one has to help pull the others up as well. That’s when the whole team starts getting better together.”
Lindsey has watched Wilson teach players for several years.
“It’s about Xs and Os as well as the people that you impact as a coach,” Lindsey said. “For coach Wilson, he has had a tremendous impact on the football players and the student body in general.”