Davidson, NC – At North Carolina’s Davidson College a Southwest Virginia football coaching tree is blossoming. Head Wildcats football coach Scott Abell welcomes an old colleague and friend. Chris Watts to his staff.
”So I’m excited that the timing was finally right for both us to bring Chris into our program and Jon Berlin -- who is our defensive coordinator, who was the head coach at Rustburg for years and was my defensive coordinator at Amherst for years I-- hired him at W & L -- Chris and him have known each other for decades as well and it’s just a great fit,” Abell explains.
”And even though I was not coaching with them over the years even at W & L we still had close ties and spent time with one another. I kept up with what they were doing and vice-versa so it’s guys that I’ve had an opportunity to get to know pretty well over the years,” Wildcats Safeties coach Chris Watts says.
Watts was an assistant for Abell at Liberty High. Abell left for Amherst county, where he won two state titles. Watts took over as the head coach of the Minutemen in Bedford, and he also won state gold in a more than two decades long run with that program. Abell moved to Washington & Lee, where he eventually became head coach. He led the Generals to their first undefeated regular season since 1961. Thorough it all the branches remain connected to the tree, which of course only survives with its roots intact.
”I tell this to our recruits right? - Long before I really understood football I thought my success kinda hovered around people. I got by with --and I’ll use Liberty High School where Chris and I spent time, and Chris became one of my assistants years ago. I didn’t know a lot of football right, -but I think I was pretty good with people,” Abell says.
“Once you’ve been a high school coach you have that feel that that they maybe don’t have. And I think that’s part of the reason for Scott’s success here at Davidson and at W & L. as well. You keep that same atmosphere that you had in high school, you just tweak it to where it fits with what you’re doing now and you still have success,” says Watts.
This tree continues to bear successful fruit..inclduing back to back Pioneer District titles nourished directly from Southwest Virginia. Davidson opens the season this Saturday against Jacksonville State.