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Willoughby named Briggs coach

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After 12 seasons watching from the stands, Larry Willoughby is ready to return to the sidelines.

Willoughby, who last coached football at the varsity level in 2002, was named coach at Briggs High School on June 13.

"I did coach my son Mason's peewee team, but that's about it," said Willoughby, whose son will be a junior this fall at Heath.

"I had been thinking about getting back into coaching for a while, and this seems to be a good fit."

Willoughby coached Heath from 1994-2000, compiling a 41-29 record and winning MSL-Cardinal Division titles in 1999 and 2000. He then served as an assistant at Hilliard Darby in 2001 and 2002.

Before arriving at Heath, he was defensive coordinator at Berne Union and an assistant at Chillicothe.

"Last fall, I was scouting a City League team to help out a friend and just loved it," Willoughby said. "The atmosphere had the feel of a Mid-State League game in the early '90s. You could smell what was cooking in the concession stand and everything about it was really intimate. I think that we could have that at Briggs."

Last season, Briggs finished 1-9 overall, with its lone win coming against Africentric, 24-18, in a City League-South Division contest. The Bruins went 1-6 in the City-South to finish seventh, behind Marion-Franklin (7-0), Walnut Ridge (5-2), Independence (5-2), Eastmoor Academy (5-2), Columbus West (3-4) and Columbus South (2-5) and ahead of Africentric (0-7).

Briggs has not had a winning season since 2010, when it finished 6-4. The Bruins also finished 1-9 in 2012 after going 4-6 in 2011.

Willoughby replaces former Ohio State and NFL running back Butler By'note', who led the program for two seasons.

"I've stayed current and I have been around football coaches for the past 12 years," Willoughby said. "Something about this job just clicked. The day I saw the opening it seemed that this would be a great place to go."

Willoughby lives in Hilliard and will continue his position as an online social studies teacher with Hilliard City Schools.

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