Peabody football coach Toriano Williams has been terminated after one season — the most successful season in more than 50 years for the Warhorses.
Williams said he was told by Peabody Prinicipal Jamie Henagan Wednesday afternoon that he could no longer coach the Warhorses.
Peabody traveled to Shreveport on Tuesday for a spring football scrimmage against Evangel. On the way home, Williams said, there was an incident on the bus between some of his players.
“There was an altercation with the kids on the bus,” Williams said. “We pulled the bus over and put the kids off the bus. She said I shouldn’t have done that.”
Williams said he couldn’t go into any details about what happened during the altercation, but he insisted that no player was left off the bus and all of the Warhorses made the return trip home to Alexandria.
Henagan said she could not confirm whether or not Williams had been fired.
“I can’t confirm anything at this time — not one thing,” Henagan said.
Williams had an extremely successful season during his first as a head coach and first with Peabody, leading the Warhorses to a 8-4 record, their first district championship since 1999 and the school’s first playoff victory in five decades. For his efforts, which included a road win over Minden in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, Williams was named the All-Cenla Coach of the Year.
When he came to Alexandria after several years as an offensive coordinator in the Shreveport and New Orleans areas, Williams brought with him a high-powered spread offense that meshed well at Peabody.
Junior quarterback Sadrick “Wanya” Kirklin thrived under Williams’ tutelage, ranking third in the state in the regular season for passing yards, finishing the season with 3,126 passing yards, 988 rushing yards and 44 total touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions on his way to earning All-Cenla MVP.
With Kirklin back for a second season in Williams’ offense, along with senior Glen Roberson and juniors Bruce Price and Jamar Washington, the Warhorses appeared poised to be a contender to make a deep playoff run in their first season in Class 3A.
Now, however, the future is once again murky as Peabody searches for its third coach in three seasons and fourth in the past five years.
While Williams said he wasn’t happy with Henagan’s decision, “it was a choice that she had to make and I understood that was something that she had to do.”
Even though he won’t be roaming the Warhorses’ sidelines in the fall, Williams said he still hopes they can have a successful season.
“I love my kids. I take care of my kids Those are my sons, and I don’t look at it any other way,” Williams said. “Even when they do things I’m not proud of, they’re my sons. I just hope that in the future things work out for them.”