An estimated 100 people were in attendance at a “welcome to Vilonia” reception held Sunday afternoon in the Vilonia High School cafeteria for Ron Young—the new head football coach.
“We have been made to feel welcome—very welcome,” Young said. Regarding his new job, Young said, it will be a team effort with everyone working side by side.
On that note, he introduced his coaching staff including Coach Matt Sullivan, Coach John Steward, Coach Tommy Stephens, Coach Casey Craun and Coach Michael Stout. He also said he is looking forward to “Sept 3, the future—when we pay our first game. Everything is set in action to have a successful year.”
He talked briefly about the 100-plus students who, he said, will suit up and serve on the team. He also introduced his wife, Teela. Married 43 years and with grown children, the couple have placed an offer on a house in Vilonia. Young said he hopes to “mesh into the community.” He also told parents that “I will be always available to talk about your son. My door is always open and my phone number is available.”
Athletic director Ed Sellers introduced Young as a “quality individual—someone who loves people—and someone who is knowledgeable about football.” Young has 20-plus years of coaching experience, Sellers said, with 10 as a head coach. His coaching, Sellers said, has been intermingled with ministry which is
“still about relating to young people, which is what a lot of coaching is about.”
Young has worked as a coach in Tennessee, Texas and Colorado including as a quarterback coach at Carson-Newman University and as head coach at Rutherford County in middle Tennessee. He comes to Vilonia after a year and a half as an assistant at Lonoke High School. He said he took the job at Lonoke as a chance to return to Arkansas with the understanding he wanted to pursue head coaching opportunities in his native state.
Sean Barber, president of the Vilonia Football Foundation, also spoke briefly. Jokingly, he ran down a list of “fun facts” about Young. Among Young’s likes, Barber said, is ice cream and golf.
The foundation sponsored the event providing refreshments.