05/15/12 — Princeton's Russell Williamson retires

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Princeton's Russell Williamson retires

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on May 15, 2012 1:49 PM

Wednesday will signal the end of an era for the Princeton High School football program.

It will be Russell Williamson's first day of retirement. The head coach of the Bulldawgs announced his resignation Tuesday and plans to finish the school year before going another direction in life.

"People always told me that I would know when it was time," Williamson said. "I feel like the time is now for me."

The search for his replacement will take place over the summer.

"For 29 years I have always put the kids and the school first," Williamson said. "This time I talked to my family and I decided that it was time to do something for myself."

The hardest part of walking away from his office at Princeton will be leaving his son Brad, the Bulldawgs' quarterback, before his senior season. Brad has emerged as one of the elite passers in the state over the past two seasons and is expected to have a big year in the Dawgs' spread offense in 2012.

"Brad is a grown man now, and we sat down and talked about me potentially doing something else," Williamson said. "He didn't even think twice about it. He told me to do whatever I needed to do and he would be fine."

Williamson has learned a thing or two about dealing with 17-year olds. His tenure in the coaching profession goes back 31-years.

"I helped out two years when I was going to college, so I guess that would make 31 years in some form of coaching," Williamson said. "If I had to do it all over again, I would do it in a second."

Williamson plans to spend his retired days with his family which will certainly keep him busy. Along with Brad playing at Princeton, Williamson's oldest son Matt is a tight end at Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Va. He also plans to work part time and continue his active role in the Princeton community.

"I am going to get to sit in the stands and be a dad next season," Williamson said. "I think my boys will like that and I know I can still yell at them. It will just be from a little further away."

Williamson reflected on all of the people that helped make his coaching career a success following his announcement.

"I have to thank guys like Al Musgrave and Bruce Proctor for being such huge help," Williamson said. "My wife and kids for putting up with me for so long, and the Princeton community for all the support through the years."