New Football Head Coach KJ Williams Takes the Field


Photo by Aman Jaleel

With the 2023 football season approaching, the Upper School football team welcomed Kenneth (KJ) Williams as the new head coach of the program.

According to Head of Athletics and Physical Education Jarrett Shine, the hiring process began with 157 applicants and continued for five months.

“The two things I wanted [the applicants] to do is be organized and be able to relate to the kids,” Shine said. “Obviously, all coaches need to have knowledge of the game, but the two things I think is important is knowing how to push your kids’ buttons and knowing how to love them.”

Shine eventually narrowed the application pool down to five. These five applicants, including Williams, were then brought to Greenhill to interact and practice with the players.

“Coach Shine did an excellent job finding good candidates, and I was glad that we got to have practices with the final two coach options,” sophomore Will Black said. “It let us get a good idea of what the upcoming season will be like.”

In the final stage, Shine says that Williams’ energetic personality and coaching experience made him the ideal candidate.

“He’s an exciting person to be around,” Shine said. “He has a great following, and he’s very connected in the football world. He’s run a program before and coached a high-level program in Texas and has a lot of [assistant] coaches that want to be involved.”

Junior Zain Crumedy also feels that Williams’ approach stood out from the other candidates.

“Some of the other guys were more tough like, ‘Let’s play football!’ but I felt like he was going to love and motivate us to be a better player and person,” Crumedy said.

About the Coach 

Williams has experience playing and coaching football. In the past, he played at Texas A&M University and Sam Houston State University. He has also coached programs such as Southern Methodist University, University of Texas at Austin, Bishop Lynch High School and John Paul II High School.

“My dream was to be a football coach and I’m getting to do that every single day,” Williams said.

When Williams received notice that he would be the head coach next season, he began brainstorming ways to improve the program.

“I got focused and I started to lock in,” Williams said. “My brain started to wander a little bit and really think about my vision [for] the program.”

His first goal is establishing strong relationships with the players.

“I want to let the guys know that I’m truly here for them and then from there we can start breaking down who we are going to be, not necessarily what we are going to do,” Williams said.

Apart from the football field, Williams also has goals to be able to contribute as a member of the Greenhill community. He says he hopes to form relationships with students regardless of whether or not they play football.

“If I see you [on] campus, I’m going to make sure that I have a genuine interest in what you’re doing and a genuine interest in your goals,” Williams said. “I think Greenhill is a place where people want to be able to pick each other up and want to be able to support each other.”

Looking Forward

With Williams as head coach, players have high hopes for the next football season.

“I think that having one leader to unite the team and set an example of what we should strive to be and how we should work towards it will be very helpful,” said junior Tom Reger. “A new coach also means a new play style, which I think that we need.”

Freshman Arjun Bhatnagar hopes the new coach can implement a culture change.

“I’m looking forward for someone new to elevate the culture on the team and hopefully lead us to more success in the upcoming season,” Bhatnagar said.

Fans of the team have new hopes as well.

“I loved watching the football games last year,” sophomore Mason Didlake said. “Next year’s games will be even more fun now that there will be different level of intensity during the games.”

Junior Zoya Iyer says she hopes the new hiring will increase school spirit.

“I am really excited to see how the new coach can help improve our program,” Iyer said. “I feel that it will help a lot with school spirit.”