Willie Tillman, defensive coordinator at the Florida Institute of Technology for the past four years, has been selected as the new head football coach at Westminster Academy.
“I want to thank Westminster Academy Headmaster, Joel Satterly, and the School Board for this opportunity,” said Tillman. “I feel like this is a match made in Heaven. My family and I are blessed to receive this opportunity and are very excited to join the WA Family.”
Florida Tech enjoyed its most successful season in 2015 with Tillman running the defense. The Panthers registered a pair of monumental wins during the campaign, becoming the first team to defeat then number five Delta State on its home turf in over three years and knocking off the nation’s number one ranked team in West Georgia. FIT came within one game of a conference championship and a postseason bid with a 7-4 record. Defensively, the Panthers ranked third in the Gulf South Conference in both scoring defense and total yards allowed while putting six players on the All-GCS team.
Tillman’s defenses at Florida Tech were disciplined, hardnosed and aggressive. He’s looking forward to implementing a similar approach on both sides of the ball for the Westminster Academy Lions and it is one of the reasons he is excited about the new synthetic turf field currently being installed at the school’s west campus Athletic Complex.
According to Tillman, “a fast surface is great for a fast football team which is what we will be. Off the field, we will seek to develop players who glorify the Lord in all that they do and graduate from Westminster Academy prepared to succeed in college and in life.”
Tillman coached at Bethel University in Tennessee in 2010 and 2011, where he was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator. He also had a separate four-season stint at Bethel when he served as the Wildcats’ defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator. His 2006 Bethel defense led the conference and was in the top 20 in the nation in scoring defense only giving up 14.6 points per game.
Prior to his second stint at Bethel, Tillman was the defensive coordinator at Merritt Island High School in Florida. He has also coached at Purdue (2001), with the Baltimore Ravens (2003), at Florida A&M (2007) and Murray State (2008).
A native of Melbourne, Florida, Tillman played collegiately at Purdue from 1994-97, where he was a two-year starter and four-year letter winner for the Boilermakers. Tillman graduated from Purdue in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in African American studies and later earned a master’s degree in education and teaching from Bethel University.
Joining Tillman in Fort Lauderdale will be his wife Jenny and their children Ava, Jayden, Julian, Quincy and Lovie.
Westminster Academy is a Christ-centered, biblically-based college preparatory school dedicated to equipping covenant students to excel by using their gifts and talents for God’s glory.