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Te’Vell Williams hired at E.E. Smith

E.E. Smith’s football tradition is as rich as any school’s in Cumberland County. But the Golden Bulls have fallen on hard times the past six years, with two winless seasons and two more with just a single win in that span.
The school will now turn to Pine Forest assistant coach Te’Vell Williams, who was confirmed by the Cumberland County Schools Board of Education earlier this week as the new E.E. Smith head coach. He replaces Antonio Wallace, who stepped down after posting the best record the Golden Bulls have seen since the 2019-20 school year, which was 3-7.
Williams played high school football for coach Bill Sochovka at Pine Forest High School, then went on to be a standout wide receiver at UNC-Pembroke for Pete Shinnick. He finished his UNCP career with 178 catches for 2,403 yards and 30 touchdowns.
He spent his last nine football seasons as an assistant coach for Sochovka at Pine Forest.
Williams feels the major problem at Smith now is an identity issue caused by the recent number of different head coaches in the program.
He becomes the fourth Golden Bull head football coach in six years.
“I think it’s a culture thing,’’ Williams said. “You have to have a better culture and understand and identify who they are and what the program is about.’’
Williams said his motto is brick by brick, stressing excellence both on and off the playing field. “I’m going to hold you to a higher standard,’’ he said. “Excellence in all that we do. Trying to rebuild a culture, a rich culture.’’
In addition to taking over a program with a recent losing record, Williams will also be tackling a major change within the Smith community. The school has long been in need of a new campus and school building, and county school officials have announced plans to relocate the school to a new campus closer to Fort Liberty, well removed from its traditional home on Seabrook Road near the Fayetteville State campus.
Williams doesn't want to get caught up in the debate over the future home of the school, but he is concerned about focusing any fundraising efforts he might start toward improving the equipment and other necessities for his football team.
For one thing, he wants to add the popular HUDL film reviewing system to the Smith program, which allows for both in-game and post-game review of video to improve the team’s play.
“That’s one of the things I’m pushing for,’’ he said. “It’s not cheap.’’
He’d also like to raise money to take his players to summer football camps and give them exposure to college coaches.
As far as his coaching philosophy, he likely will borrow a lot from his college coach, Shinnick, who favored the spread offense. “I want to keep defenses on their toes,’’ he said. “A lot of motion. A lot of different formations.’’
He believes football is a game of mismatches, and his philosophy is to try to find those and exploit them as much as possible. “It’s going to be hard to study us because when we practice you’ll have to practice a lot of different things,’’ he said.
ee smith, golden bulls, high school football