Spotlight on Coaches with Collinsville’s Ernie Willingham!
July 11, 2019
Southern Torch (3790 articles)

Spotlight on Coaches with Collinsville’s Ernie Willingham!

By Marla Jones, Sports Editor •

COLLINSVILLE, Ala. — The Southern Torch Coach of the Week is Coach James (Ernie) Willingham, Head Coach of the Collinsville Panthers Varsity Football Team.  

Coach Ernie Willingham is a Collinsville graduate.  After receiving his degree from Jacksonville, he was the Head Coach at Appalachian from 1984-1991.  He accepted a job with Albertville City Schools to coach basketball from 1991-1993 before returning to Appalachian for five more years.  In 1998, Willingham landed his first football coaching job as Head Coach at Collinsville.  While at Collinsville for five years, his team went 31-24.  The Panthers reached the playoffs in four out of the five seasons.  In 2003, Willingham answered the call to return to Appalachian, to coach basketball and took over the football program in 2004 for seven seasons,  Coach Willingham moved back to his hometown, in Collinsville, in 2013.

Coach Ernie Willingham is married to Nina Willingham.  They have three daughters: Kim, Kayla and Kendall.

Coach Willingham will be entering his twelfth season at Collinsville.  He has lead the Panthers to eight playoff appearances.  The Collinsville Panthers have won two region championships under the leadership of Willingham.  In the 2016 season, Willingham earned his 100th win as Head Coach.  Willingham is a modest man, and just said of the honor “that means you are getting old.”

Southern Torch wishes Coach Willingham and his Collinsville Panthers the best of luck in their upcoming season.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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