After taking a season off from soccer to focus on his health, Doug Williamson is excited to get back on the sideline and take on a new challenge at the same time.

Williamson, who has more than 300 wins in a career that has featured high school and college coaching stints, was introduced as coach of the DeSales High School girls team Jan. 7.

Williamson coached Dublin Scioto’s girls in 2016 and 2017, the most recent stop in a career that also includes time with the men’s teams at Kenyon College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Ohio Wesleyan as well as the Curry College, Nebraska Wesleyan and Wellesley College women’s teams. He has a career record of 326-161-20.

Williamson had planned to return to Scioto last year but had to undergo surgery on his right hip to repair damage from a plastic prosthesis.

“For me, DeSales emphasizes the core values I hope we as coaches instill in athletes,” Williamson said. “It’s about more than the sport. I love to win and I love to compete at the highest level, but for me, it comes down to coaching holistically, coaching the whole person.”

Williamson replaces Sarah Gantz, who resigned in November after going 21-24-7 overall and 9-2-1 in the CCL in three seasons. DeSales won the CCL title in 2017 and finished second in the league last season and in 2016.

Williamson also is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and currently is serving as interim pastor at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in St. Marys, about 100 miles northwest of Columbus.

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave