The Green Run Stallions have a new man in charge to lead their football program.
On Monday, the Virginia Beach school announced that Brandon Williams is the new Head Football Coach of the Stallions with their 2017 season opener just 53 days away.
"We are excited for Coach Williams to assume leadership of the football team," said Green Run Principal Todd Tarkenton in a press release by Virginia Beach City Public Schools. "Through his experiences in the classroom and on the field, he has demonstrated his ability to build positive relationships with students and his commitment to helping each young person reach his full potential."
A graduate of Matoaca, Williams participated in baseball, basketball and track at the High School level in addition to football. He went on to play College Football at Norfolk State.
Among his duties at Green Run over a seven-year period, he has served as the Boys Indoor Track and Outdoor Track Head Coach. But when this opportunity came up, it was one he knew he couldn't pass up.
"It's been an all-time dream of mine to be a Head Football Coach at the High School level. For it to be at Green Run - somewhere I've been for so many years and gotten the opportunity to learn about these kids as well as the faculty and staff - it's even better," Williams told VirginiaPreps.com.
"I can't wait to get to work with these kids to see what type of morale we can come up with during camp. I'm extremely excited and ready to get to work."
In late June, Green Run had a sudden vacancy when the administration announced that Justin Conyers would not be brought back for a second season (see more on that here). He went 4-7 overall in his lone season at the helm, losing 35-0 in the opening round of the playoffs to city rival Salem.
Before joining Green Run as a teacher assistant in 2013, Williams served part time as the defensive backs and running backs coach for the Stallions football team, then under Head Coach Shawn Wilson. He also worked in Norfolk Public Schools as a special education teacher assistant and as a mental health technician in the private sector.
Green Run lost 51 straight games from 1999-2004. But under Wilson and Jeff McGowan - who served as Head Coach prior to Conyers being hired in 2016 - the Stallions had five playoff appearances and four winning seasons. Williams saw a change in the culture while working with both.
"I always tell people that Coach Wilson birthed me and Coach McGowan raised me," Williams noted. "That's how it went."
Matthew Hatfield, VirginiaPreps.com
Being able to contend with the upper-echelon teams in the Beach District and on a regional scale is the goal for Williams. He's seen the success the school's basketball team has had - with an 85-17 record over the past four seasons (tops in all of Hampton Roads) - and believes a similar breakthrough on the gridiron is attainable.
"Our athletic base is very wide. We just have to get the winning mentality built up to where they realize they can be successful on the field, just like they've been on the basketball court," said Williams, who saw growth from the squad when they went 5-1 in June during the Powerade 7 on 7 held at Lake Taylor.
"That day at the Powerade 7 on 7 is when I realized this job can be done. The boys performed at a high level while not knowing what was going on fully. They gained my respect and that told me they were going to do whatever it takes to become winners. We have a big senior class that I'm looking to lean on this year, so we're hoping to make some noise this year coming up."
Performing well in the classroom will be the top priority, Williams said.
"First and foremost, I'm really going to stress the academic aspect. We're student-athletes. Student comes first and athlete comes second," he added.
"On the field, we're going to be fast and physical. We're going to compete every Friday. Every week, I want to go 1-0. Even if we drop one, we're going to try to come back the next week and go 1-0."
Among the key returnees for Green Run is All-Conference defensive back Kwantay Anderson - who holds offers from Air Force, Army, Howard and Navy - as well as two-way standout DeQuan Hopkins. Both are also members of the basketball team that won the Atlantic Conference 9 Tournament last winter.
The Stallions open up the 2017 campaign at home on August 25th against rival Landstown.
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