BY ANDREAS BUTLER
New Smyrna Beach native Sean Washington has stepped down as head coach at Pine Ridge High in Deltona.
He is taking a job as tight ends coach at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) located in Itta Beta, Mississippi.
“I felt it was the right opportunity. I’m still young. You always want to take opportunities
that can elevate you to where you want to go. I felt that this was one of them,’’ Washington told the Daytona Times.
MVSU is a historically Black college and university (HBCU) that plays in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) at the Division I level.
‘It’s tough leaving’
Washington likes what he sees in the Delta Devils.
He expressed, “I think this is a program that can win. They are young and there are some good things happening there.”
Washington leaves Pine Ridge after a short stint. He took over the program in January.
“It’s tough leaving. I know some parents are upset. I was able to build relationships with the players. They understand. It’s not just a job. You are trying to build character and transform these young men into men. It’s never an easy decision to make,” admitted Washington.
Washington was an assistant coach at Atlantic High in Port Orange the past two seasons.
In 2018, he was the quarterbacks and running backs coach. In 2019, he was the defensive coordinator of a unit that gave up 15 points per game for a playoff squad. He also was the wide receivers’ coach at New Smyrna Beach High (2015-17)
He believes his coaching experience has prepared him for the next level.
“I worked under Coach DJ Mayo who did coach in college. One of the things he always groomed me for – whether high school or not – was to work as if you were somewhere else. He taught us to work as we were working for Nick Saban at Alabama in college or working for any coach in the NFL,” responded Washington.
The transition from coaching in high school and college will be a challenge.
“I think it’s the small things. I’m no longer in a classroom. I don’t have to teach then go to practice. Now, I’ll have more free time. What do I do with that time? I’ll have to adjust to the college coaching lifestyle,” said Washington.
On move to SWAC
Washington also weighed in on Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman moving to the SWAC in 2021. He grew up watching the schools and has family and friends whose alumnus of both.
“With those two schools coming to the SWAC, it will be a lot of attention on the conference. It will be exciting,” noted Washington.
Washington played quarterback at Defiance College (Ohio) where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology.
In high school, he was a standout at both Atlantic and New Smyrna Beach. He is a graduate of New Smyrna Beach High.
High school begin workouts
On Monday, local high schools began summer workouts.
It was the first time any prep athletic activity occurred in the county since all athletic events were canceled back in March.
Some school districts began activity last month, including Seminole and Flagler counties.
Sports return with certain safety guidelines, including small groups at designated times, no access to locker rooms or and weight rooms, players must bring their own water, no access to water fountains, workouts are done outside and are voluntary, temperatures are taken daily and more.
Virtual MEAC media day
On Tuesday, The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced that it will hold its annual Football Media Day virtually on Friday, July 31.
The event will be presented by Cricket Wireless.
Head coaches and players from the conference’s football-playing institutions will be interviewed in a pre-recorded show, co-hosted by ESPN’s Tiffany Greene and Jay Walker in the order of the predicted order of finish.
The show will air live on the MEAC’s YouTube channel and website at noon.
The 2020 football season is currently scheduled to begin on Saturday, Sept. 5. The MEAC/ SWAC Challenge is in Atlanta on Sunday, Sept. 6 as South Carolina State and Grambling State square off live at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.