HAMPTON (WAVY) – Woodrow Wilson has been an assistant football coach at Hampton high school on and off for 20 years. Combine that experience, dedication to the program and the fact that he’s an alum himself, his dedication to the Crabbers football program is unquestioned.

All of his years as a player and as an assistant were under the direction of Mike Smith. The long time head coach that retired last December after 51 seasons, 12 state championships and 506 career wins as Crabbers head coach.

By his side for many of those state championships, Wilson was actually reluctant to take the job at first but eventually gave in to Smith’s wishes.

“He as me the first time and I said ‘no coach, I don’t want to do it. I’m not interested’,” Wilson said. “But then he came back two days later and asked me again. He told me he was serious and I told him ‘coach, if it means that much to you, I’ll do it.”

Wilson takes over a team that went 9-2 last season but doesn’t return a single starter.

“It feels good to have a new coach here,” senior running back Raykwon Smith said. “Coach Wilson was a part of winning here with coach Smith, he played here. He’s a strict coach, he’s straightforward and he wants what’s best for us.”

The last time the Crabbers won a state title was 2005, with current New York Giants quarterback Tyrod Taylor leading the way.

For more, click the video above.