Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 71F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%..
Scattered thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy overnight with thunderstorms likely. Low 71F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.
Updated: August 29, 2022 @ 10:26 pm
St. Albans football head coach Willie Washington speaks to coaches and media during Thursday’s Mountain State Athletic Conference media day at Little Creek Golf Course in South Charleston.

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St. Albans football head coach Willie Washington speaks to coaches and media during Thursday’s Mountain State Athletic Conference media day at Little Creek Golf Course in South Charleston.
In sports, sometimes a culture change is all it takes to turn around a team.
For St. Albans football, that culture change may be coming in the form of new head coach Willie Washington.
Washington knows a thing or two about football and coaching.
The St. Albans High School alumnus has been involved in coaching for over 30 years. After playing at St. Albans and graduating in 1989, Washington also played one season at Glenville State.
Washington was running backs coach at West Virginia State under Earl Moore from 2008-11 and coached running backs at St. Albans from 2012-17 under Steve Stoffel and Scott Tinsley.
Washington, who spoke Thursday during the Mountain State Athletic Conference media day, understands the challenge of the job with a young team rife with freshmen.
“I’m excited about it,” Washington said. “I don’t seem to let things bother me too often. I just take them as they come and I understand the position I’m in, trying to revitalize a team that has been down for some time.”
Nick Watts was head coach at St. Albans from 2018-21 and was 7-21 over those four seasons. St. Albans hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, when it made it to the Class AAA state championship game, losing to Parkersburg 22-15.
Washington is obviously invested in the program and has followed it closely over the years. He watched plenty of Red Dragons games last season and knows there needs to be a culture change.
“We haven’t won many games in the past and, in order to end that, I need to get these kids thinking positive,” Washington said. “Every game that I watched, as soon as they went down last year, they just gave up. They were not very competitive last year. This year I think you’re going to see a difference in how they perform and how they play.”
Washington’s first official practice as head coach comes Monday, when high school football season in West Virginia begins. Washington just wants to see what he has as a team before making any assessments or moves.
“I’m not nervous, I’m a little anxious to see what they can do,” Washington said. “Once I can figure out what they can do as a team, then we’ll start to put things together and get an identity of who they really are. Right now, they don’t know who they are.”
Washington said he’s always been a coach — the only difference this time around is his title.
“If I wasn’t coaching football, I was either coaching track or soccer,” he said. “I’ve always been a coach. It’s been 30 years of my life I’ve been dealing with children. The only thing new is the position. That’s going to take time to get used to. I seem to enjoy the role and I don’t feel any pressure at this time. Just go out there and teach these kids how to play.”
Representing the St. Albans community is one of the things he’s happiest about.
“Not just representing my alma mater but also I am happy to be representing the St. Albans community,” Washington said. “My motto is that ‘SA athletics … we’re gonna be all right.’ Just glad to have the opportunity to give back.
“I’m a graduate of St. Albans. I’m a graduate of 1989. I played on some good football teams back in the ’80s. I’m just trying to get that feeling back. Give these kids something to look forward to every year — and that’s to play football.”
Rick Farlow covers sports. He can be reached at 304-348-5122 or rick.farlow@hdmediallc.com. Follow @FarlowRick on Twitter.
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