Lohrey excited about opportunity at Williston

Williston's new football coach Cliff Lohrey spent seven years at Brooksville Central, four as head coach from 2006-2009. (Special from the Tampa Bay Times)

Published: Friday, March 14, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 10:10 p.m.

Cliff Lohrey is looking forward to his second stop as a head coach, taking over the football program at Williston.

Lohrey, who started at the school in mid-February, knows a lot of preparation work is in order before spring practices open on May 1.

“The kids have been very receptive,” said Lohrey, 36, a graduate of Crystal River High. “It is still in the honeymoon phase.”

Lohrey spent seven seasons at Brooksville Central, three years as an assistant and his last four (2006-2009) as head coach. His best season with the Bears came in his first year, leading them to a district title and 8-3 record.

“Anytime you are a head coach, no matter how many times you are prepared for it, you can't speak about it until you go through it,” he said. “The expectations here at Williston are tremendous and as a coach and competitor, you embrace that.”

Lohrey knows full well the toughness of District 7-1A, with Dixie County, Union County, Newberry and Chiefland.

“We are in a district that if you can get through it and get to the dance, you are likely to make some noise,” he said. “Being a kid that grew up in Florida and played football, I've known about the tradition at Union County. I know coach (Brent) Wilkerson has been at Dixie County for a number of years, Newberry played in a state final and semifinal like in the last six years and Aaron (Richardson) has done a wonderful job turning around Chiefland. We've got our work cut out for us.”

Lohrey spent two years (2012-13) at Oregon during Chip Kelly's tenure as a graduate assistant, helping with strength and conditioning.

“You can't be around a culture of excellence like that without taking something from it,” he said. “It's my job to transfer that to high school athletes.”

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