MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Former Auburn football player Antonio Coleman, who has spent the last six years as the Williamson High School football defensive coordinator, was introduced as the 2022-23 Lions interim head coach on June 17.

WKRG News 5 Randy Patrick spoke with the new Lions head coach as a part of the Sunday Sports Overtime, which aired June 19. Here are highlights and some of the more notable things Coleman told Patrick during his 10-minute interview:

Initial statement from Coleman on accepting the position:

It’s been a long road for me. My reaction is, I hit the ground running, you know. I don’t let things like this get too big for me. I am even keeled. I enjoy the grind, the work part of it and impacting the kids. That is what it’s about.”

On the label, “interim” coach:

“It’s just a term, I tell my coaches we are all head coaches. I don’t buy too much stock into ‘interim’, I don’t buy too much stock into ‘head coach.’ It’s great thing to have on your resume for the future, but it doesn’t really move me. As long as they want me here, I’ll be here.”

What to expect from Coleman and his coaching staff:

“I played a lot of football around a lot of good players and good coaches. You learn the right things to do, the wrong things to do, I have picked from everyone and formulated my way of the right structure to run a program.”

I truly believe in a standard here. That’s what were gonna live by, we’re gonna have structure and we’re gonna do it right all the time. There’s no excuses, if you do it right all the time, you’ll have the success I had.”

On the support he has received in a short time:

“It’s special man, when I have Tee Martin [former Williamson player and current Baltimore Ravens wide receivers coach] calling me, Matt McCants [former NFL offensive lineman] too and so many more, guys like that have impacted my life to get me where I am in the coaching field.”

Coleman talks about his movement from player to defensive coordinator to head coach:

“I came to give back and that’s what I have been doing for the last six years, and I have a bit of a different role now, it’s not just the defensive side of the ball, it’s shaping the whole school on the athletic part. That’s one thing for me too, I want all these kids to go to college, academic or athletic, and I am just excited to see where this goes.”

On possibly playing the 2022-23 season at Theodore High School while Williamson’s field gets renovated:

“It will be a big focus. I don’t want the kids worrying at where we play, instead how we play. I’ve got a great group of kids, they come to work everyday and they are excited to be here. We’re gonna travel, be here and be there, but we just control the things we can control.”

The Williamson Lions finished the 2021-22 season 5-6 with coach Melvin Pete Jr., who spent one season with the school. Before that, Dedrick Sumpter spent nine seasons with the Lions posting a 40-55 overall record, earning a region title in 2020. Former Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary [2021 2nd round pick] and defensive lineman Nick Fairley are among those who make up the Lions’ rich history of NCAA Football and National Football League talent. Former NFL quarterback Jamarcus Russell was an All-American in 2002.

The right way to do anything is the best way to do everything.

Antonio Coleman