Q&A with Magnolia coach Toriano Williams

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

Coach, thank you for joining me for the interview.

Coach Williams: No problem, Lee. Thank you. 

Tough schedule so far for your young program in Class 1A in 2022. Glenbrook, Westgate, General Trass, Lake Charles Prep and East Iberville.

Coach Williams: Yes, we went through the beast of a schedule. We wanted to let kids see it, the teams who win and so we can build the young guys with experience. We liked the schedule. We played well, I thought, against the likes of great programs like East Iberville, Homer. I also thought our young guys did well against Glenbrook, putting up 44 points and learning in that game, too. The schedule also determines power points for the playoffs, so I took that into account also for our program and team. We have learned a lot and grown from it already.

What is the age of the program at Magnolia Charter?

Coach Williams: Four years overall. I am the program’s 4th overall head football coach.

Where did you go to high school?

Coach Williams: Lee, I went to Woodlawn and graduated in 1990. I played for Dennis Dunn there. Also was teammates with former DE Fred Harris, who was a high school All-American and went to San Diego State.

Where did you go to college?

Coach Williams: I got a scholarship to play football for USL (now UL-Lafayette) as a QB/WR, and then transferred and finished at Northwestern State in 1994.

What made you get into coaching?

Coach Williams: Funniest thing happened to me — it was by accident becoming a coach. I was in California at the time and a friend asked me to help him coach this youth team of kids 9-years-old in age and I fell in love with it. I then went on to coach the 12-year-olds at Evangel and moved back to Louisiana from California to become a coach.

What was your first high school coaching job?

Coach Williams: My first job was at Woodlawn in Shreveport when I became the WR’s coach under head coach Carlos Holmes.

I remember at that time one of the best recruits in the state was at Woodlawn — DL Torshiro Davis (signed with Texas Longhorns) that year.

Coach Williams: That is correct. He was a good player for us.

What do you like most about football?

Coach Williams: I think life lessons are so great. Life is like four quarters of a football game. I think in the end you reap the fruits of your labor.

Talk about your leaders of this young program.

Coach Williams: Athlete Deondre Johnson — he’s got the stuff to play at the college level now. Slot/WR for us and quarterback he’s so fast and athletic. A young kid who will be a big-time player before he’s done playing is freshman Mitchell Adams. A free safety for us, had over 100 yards against Westgate, 100 yards against Glenbrook and a 95-yard kick return for a touchdown.

Talk about your offense and defense schemes for your program.

Coach Williams: I love the spread offense formations with four or five wide of WRs. I love to stretch the defense to help set up the run, actually. Defense I like an odd (man) front defense. What you have in personnel usually determines what you run as a team on both sides of the football.

Talk about your staff this year.

Coach Williams: We have great guys. I want to mention one man that we are grateful to have in coaching legend Husher Calhoun. Having him on the staff is a blessing with his wisdom, what he’s seen and to share all that with us every day is incredible.

I did not know that. Coach Calhoun is a great man and loved working with him when he was head coach at Fair Park.

Where does the team play its games? 

Coach Williams: Lee, for the first time in the school’s history we play at our home stadium. It’s been great.

What’s it like to coach your sons in football, sports?

Coach Williams: I have coached all three of my sons in sports. Two sons played QB for me at Delhi. My baby boy, Terrell, plays for me at Magnolia. I think the standard is higher having to play for their dad. I think it’s a good thing, though, to experience.

Speaking of family tell me about your family.

Coach Williams: Lee, I have a big family. I have eight kids. Six of those are boys. I have two daughters. My oldest is 24 and youngest is 17. My kids are Brandon, Devin, Erron, Ethan, Tae, Aliciyah, Terrell and Tiana and my rock is my wife, Teniesha. I also have a grandson who is 4-years old, Kason. 

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Contact Lee at lbrecheen@aol.com