‘Never thought I’d be here’: new Rock Hill coach meets players for first time
The Trojans have a new head football coach. It’s someone players may already know.
Page Wofford, a former Northwestern High School assistant coach, has been named the school’s new head football coach. Rock Hill school district leaders joined students and Northwestern Principal Hezekiah Massey Thursday at the school in welcoming the new coach.
“Coach Wofford’s return to Northwestern provides us with someone who has a deep understanding of the standard we expect for our program,” Massey said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to have him return as our new head coach, and we support him fully in rebuilding Trojan football.”
Wofford served the Trojans as an assistant coach from 2012 to 2018, according to the district. Wofford helped lead the team to three state championships, where they won in 2013 and 2015.
“He understands the climate of football in our community, and he brings a solid plan to restore the winning traditions that are the foundation of our football program,” Northwestern Athletic Director Lauren West said in a prepared statement. “His vision for reinstating the ‘Win Today’ player accountability program and academic plan are evidence that he has a clear understanding of what our student-athletes need to be successful on and off the field.”
Wofford said returning to Rock Hill was always his dream.
“It’s been surreal,” he said. “I never thought I would get to coach at Northwestern. Just being an assistant coach here was a dream come true.”
Wofford has most recently served as offensive coordinator for the Lions at Daniel High School in Central, S.C. His resume includes 20 years of coaching experience, including at Wando High School in Charleston County School District, Pickens High School in Pickens County School District, Carolina High School in Greenville County School District and Northwestern.
Wofford was also an assistant principal at Wando High School, one of the largest in the state, and has served as a physical education teacher at elementary and high schools, according to the Rock Hill school district. Wofford was named the 2009 S.C. Strength Coach of the Year.
Wofford’s return to Northwestern comes months after former head football coach James Martin resigned in April.
Martin had been under investigation by the district following parent complaints about practices in the Northwestern football weightlifting class, The Herald previously reported. A letter from the district responded to the complaints but did not accuse Martin of any wrongdoing.
Jarvis Davis was leading the defense for the Trojans in the spring but was not serving as head coach, The Herald previously reported. Knox Baggett was leading the offense and Mario Donato was helping with logistics.
Northwestern’s football season opens Aug. 24 at District Three Stadium against South Pointe High School.
“Everything in my life has led me to this point. I’m ready to start,” Wofford said.
Wofford said accountability and structure will be key aspects of Northwestern’s football program.
“We’re going to treat these young men with respect and dignity,” he said. “We’re going to make sure they are good citizens first and good students first. If we can do that, we’ll have success on the football field.”
Wofford started meeting players Thursday. He said a short-term goal is to put together a strong staff.
“We’ve got to start stringing some figures together. They’ve been down for too long,” Wofford said. “We’re going to put together the best staff we can this year and let them do their job.”
Wofford has two sons with his wife Michelle. Huck will be a freshman at Northwestern and Xan is entering fourth grade.
“We are excited to welcome back Mr. Wofford along with his family. Mr. Wofford brings with him a wealth of knowledge and skills as well as a familiarity of Northwestern football,” Superintendent Bill Cook said in a prepared statement.
“We believe he will continue the level of excellence that Northwestern and the Rock Hill community is accustom to while ensuring our student-athletes maintain a strong focus on their academics and future goals,” Cook said.