JACKSON TWP — Coach long enough at one school and your name becomes synonymous with an athletic program.
And it doesn't hurt to have the kind of success George Williams has enjoyed with Seneca Valley boys soccer.
A WPIAL quarterfinal victory over Butler Oct. 31 earned for Williams his 300th career win.
“The players are the ones out there winning games. I just stand on the sideline and yell,” Williams said, laughing. “I'm just happy for our boys. This was a huge win for us and it makes No. 300 even more special.”
Williams guided the Raiders to the program's second WPIAL championship, a 4-3 overtime triumph over Peters Township Nov. 7. SV entered a state semifinal against Cumberland Valley Tuesday with a 15-1-1 record and Williams' win total sitting at 303.
Jay Roman has been an assistant with the Raiders for 10 years and is in his fourth season aiding the varsity team.
“George strongly believes in the team concept,” Roman said. He's always preaching 'Team, team, team.'
“He respects the players and they respect him because he's such a great guy.”
Williams, a graduate of Fox Chapel High School and Bethany College, became SV's varsity coach in 1995 after being hired as an art teacher for the district's middle school, a position he still holds.
The Raiders first made the playoffs under Williams in 2000 and have now qualified for the postseason 13 consecutive years. SV's section crown this season was the Raiders' seventh such title in the last eight years. Along the way, they have played in three WPIAL championship games, winning twice (2018, 2020).
In 2015, the team made a run to the state final after a disappointing loss in the district semifinal. SV defeated Kiski Area in the consolation game, earning a spot in the PIAA tournament, and began its historic run to Hershey.
Undoubtedly, Williams' team focus helped the Raiders get there.
Said Roman: “He tells the players, 'Look to your left and look to your right. These are the people who have your back.'”
Coaching high school student-athletes for 25 years has taught Williams that, like players, it helps for a coach to be versatile.
“There are certain things you expect from a team every season — a good work ethic, good attitude — but the makeup of a team is never exactly the same from year to year,” he said. “As a coach, you have to figure out what motivates players and that always seems to change.”