Although we didn’t have the time to search the Iowa School Athletic Association yearbook and look at the names of every high school wrestling coach, it’s pretty much a cinch that Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Coach Scott Williamson is the first superintendent in the state to serve as a head wrestling coach.
In this year of COVID-19, Albia Superintendent Kevin Crall has served as substitute classroom teacher and bus driver. A head varsity coach? “No way,” said Crall watching Saturday’s sectional wrestling tournament and visiting with his fellow superintendent Williamson. “I don’t know how he’s managed it.”
Williamson was named EBF’s superintendent last spring as schools were closing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was a familiar face to EBF, serving as principal from 2004-2012. But he never coached wrestling for the Rockets back then.
The Lisbon native wrestled for that storied program and was a state tournament competitor before wrestling at the University of Iowa. He has the cauliflower ears to prove it.
He began his teaching and wrestling coaching career at Tri-County in 1989-90 where he had a runner-up and state champion. He then left for Iowa City West and built that program into a winner. He left Iowa City in 1998, moved to Texas, returned to Tri-County teaching math while pursuing his administrative degrees. After his eight years as high school principal at EBF, he left for Sioux Central to serve as superintendent, then accepted the EBF superintendent’s job last spring replacing Dr. Dean Cook.
As if he and his administration didn’t need any more on their plates than COVID-19, virtual and hybrid learning and all the headaches that entails, a situation in the coaching ranks as school was beginning last fall, caused him to take over the wrestling program in November. “I said I’d step in and take the program for a year,” he said at Saturday’s sectional where the Rockets finished a strong third with five qualifiers to district.
“I’ve always loved wrestling,” he said. “When I get in the wrestling room, everything is left behind. When I’m coaching, nothing else really bothers me.”
The Rockets may not have achieved what previous teams achieved (the past two years they were conference champions), but he has seen great improvement with a very young team. “It’s been really rewarding to be back in the wrestling room,” he said.
But he was on a one-year contract from the first day he took over and will begin shortly advertising for the next head coach.