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Freedom plucks Gar-Field’s Wortham for head coaching job

Stand anywhere near the Gar-Field sideline for a football game during the fall, and there’s one distinctive voice that can be heard above all the rest -- that of defensive coordinator Gary Wortham.

Because of Wortham’s passion and overflowing amount of energy, Freedom-Woodbridge made him the third coach in its football program’s history late Thursday morning.

“Gary is very enthusiastic, has a passion for kids and has a passion for football,” said Freedom athletic director Brad Qualls. “That’s the thing we need right now for Freedom: someone to come in, bring some excitement and get the kids involved. I think he’s the man who’s going to do that.”

Wortham has never been a head coach at any level, but has been coaching football in Prince William County for the last seven years and has been on sidelines around Northern Virginia since he started as an assistant at T.C. Williams in 1992.

A graduate of Norfolk State and a native of Alexandria, Wortham played for West Potomac in the mid-1980s, and was the running backs coach at Woodbridge starting in 2003. There he worked alongside Tom Gryder, who left to take the reins at Gar-Field prior to the 2008 season.

Freedom-Woodbridge went 0-10 this past season and has a record of 8-42 since the school’s first football season in 2005. Wortham faces a daunting challenge, taking over a team that was outscored 318-60.

“I’m going to bring a lot of energy and lots and lots of motivation,” Wortham said. “My major mission is to get the kids to buy into that motivation, leadership and to draw more numbers out for the program.

“One of my biggest goals is to create an overall energy for the entire school and develop a population that attends games.”

With Wortham at Gar-Field this fall, the Indians (6-4) boasted one of Prince William County’s stoutest defenses, allowing 14.2 points per game. And at Woodbridge, Wortham was responsible for the development of running back De’Antwan Williams, who amassed 6,909 yards and 83 touchdowns during a prolific career that has continued at Rutgers.

“Gary is 100 percent into whatever he does ... I should really say 110 percent,” Qualls said. “That’s something where we know he’s going to be committed to the program and our student-athletes at Freedom. He’s all about kids and helping them succeed.”

By Jason Mackey  |  January 14, 2010; 5:18 PM ET
Categories:  Football , Freedom-Woodbridge , Northwest Region  
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