Guest speaker at athletic banquet pays tribute to Vilonia spirit

 Addressing the recent Vilonia Senior Athletic Banquet, Ryan Webb, a former soccer coach from Mississippi told those in attendance “there is a spirit here (in Vilonia)  that is amazing and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.”

For the past year, Webb has served as the area representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, referring to Vilonia. He said he comes to Vilonia often.

“If you are from here, you may not get it,” Webb continued. “I am so thankful to be a part of it.”

Webb outlined his spiritual journey going from going from the “top of the ladder,” as a coach, making lots of money, to where he is today—with little money but happier than he has ever been.

A coach for 23 years, Webb began his coaching career in Mississippi, with stints at both Tupelo High School and Clinton High School, compiling an 83-11-2 record and earning two MHSAA state runner-ups.

Webb was an assistant coach at NCAA Division III Mississippi College from 1998-2000 and then worked on the coaching staff for the Atlanta Lightning Soccer Club from 2000-2002. After returning to his hometown to serve as director of coaching for the Clinton Futbol Club, Webb was hired as an assistant coach for Stanford University, where he served from 2003-2005. In 2006, Webb was named boys’ director of coaching for the Jackson Futbol Club, which later merged with the Chicago Fire Juniors of Mississippi.

Webb is a 1995 graduate of the University of Mississippi, with a B. A. in elementary education. He holds a USSF National B coaching license and an NSCAA Advanced National Coaching diploma. 

He said he had his “enough is enough moment,” in 2015 and decided to “live for what matters.” Before, he said, he was a believer but “everything was about my ego.”

“In FCA, your salary is zero. I have been doing this for 18 months and this is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done,” he added.

The banquet lasted nearly three hours with coaches of every respective sport touting the praises of their players. As well, scholarships were presented including the Vilonia Eagle Football Foundation presented a $1,500 scholarship to Zac Bryant.