James Wood names three head coaches; former assistant Wilson to lead football team

WINCHESTER — James Wood High School announced the hiring of new head coaches for football, softball and boys’ soccer on Wednesday.

Previous assistant coaches Todd Wilson (football) and Patrick Gibson (softball) were promoted, while Ronald Velasquez (boys’ soccer) is new to the school.

Wilson, an offensive line coach for the Colonels for the past four seasons, takes over after James Wood chose not to renew the contract of former head coach Ryan Morgan, who complied a 23-30 mark over six seasons. James Wood was 2-8 last season.

Prior to coaching for the Colonels, Wilson spent six years an assistant coach at East Hardy High School in Baker, W.Va. During his time there, the Cougars had a 63-14 record, made six consecutive playoff appearances and finished as the state runner-up twice. Wilson graduated from Moorefield (W.Va.) High School and won a state championship as a player there.

“Coach Wilson is a model of consistency, respect and character,” James Wood coordinator of student activities Brian Sullivan said in a news release. “We could not be more excited to name him our head football coach. His knowledge of the game is evident and our student-athletes will benefit greatly from his leadership. Coach Wilson prides himself on being a great person, a hard worker and a leader in the classroom and community. I am confident he will instill those core values in our student-athletes.”

Gibson was a longtime assistant to Todd Baker, who retired after eight seasons as the Colonels’ softball coach with a 106-45-1 record. Baker was a three-time Winchester Star Coach of the Year. James Wood finished 12-11 last season and captured the district tournament title to earn a Region 4C berth.

“We are excited to welcome Coach Gibson as our next softball coach,” Sullivan said in the release. “Coach Gibson has helped our softball program sustain many years of success as an assistant coach and I am confident he will do an exemplary job leading our softball program beginning this year. Coach Gibson prides himself on building positive relationships with our student-athletes and brings a wealth of knowledge about the game.”

Velasquez was a James Wood soccer opponent not very long ago. He was a 2020 graduate of Millbrook High School and received a partial scholarship to George Mason University.

Velasquez takes over for Sullivan, who had to give up the position to take over for Craig Woshner as the school’s CSA in July. Sullivan’s career record was 57-57-8, but his record over the last three seasons was 36-14-3 and he took the Colonels to the state semifinals in 2021. James Wood finished 11-7-1 last season and earned a Region 4C berth.

Velasquez is currently the head coach of the 2012 Blue Ridge United Blue Team and assists in running camps and clinics with the club in the summer.

“Coach Velasquez brings an energy, charisma and passion for soccer that will fit well leading our boys’ soccer program,” Sullivan said. “His knowledge of the game, character and work ethic stand out. We are excited to watch him work to lead our Colonels boys’ soccer program to new heights. He will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff and is a coach who leads by example with character, dignity, and humility.”


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