Adam Williams, who started the Victory Christian wrestling program, has stepped down as head coach after three seasons and a district championship
LAKELAND — There’s a new wrestling coach at Victory Christian.
Adam Williams, a Lakeland police officer who started the Victory Christian wrestling program and led the team to a Class 1A, District 9 championship this year in its third season, has stepped down as head coach and will be moving to Kentucky after he retires at an unspecified time in the future.
"Williams did an exceptional job beginning our program and coached with great passion and character. Adam took us to a district championship in a short time, but most importantly he molded a group of kids into young men,” Victory Athletic Director Scott Skeans said Thursday.
Williams will be replaced by his friend of 30 years, St. Petersburg Northside Christian wrestling coach Christian Wilmington.
“He and Adam have been friends for a long time and we expect this transition to be smooth for the student athletes as well as the coaching staff. It’s obvious to VCA administration that Coach Wilmington is very knowledgeable and is a man of impeccable character,” Skeans said.
Wilmington has coached the past 17 seasons at Northside, producing six individual state champions, three state runners-up and 11 more medalist. He also guided the team to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 FHSAA Class 1A state finals and two district championships.
“My goal is not to mess up anything. I need to learn the lay of the land,” Wilmington said. “I am about the kids. My style may not be their style, and I want to cultivate their strengths. Wrestling is too tough for me to change how they wrestle.”
His son, Kamen, won the 1A, 145-pound championship at the 2017 state finals under his direction. He also coached brothers Dillon and Dalton Dennis, who went on to wrestle at Oklahoma.
Wilmington is planning to take the Storm to compete at the 2018 Prep Slam in Atlanta, Georgia, in January.
Williams said he wanted to leave the program in good hands and was trying to get "his ducks in a row" but will remain in the area for a while.
Bill Kemp can be reached at Bill.Kemp@theledger.com; follow him on Twitter @BillKempSports.