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OPINION | WALLY HALL: Wilson working hard for Arkansas Baptist

by Wally Hall | August 25, 2022 at 2:27 a.m.

Richard Wilson jumped out of his seat, ran across the room and shook hands.

He wasn't on his phone, computer or iPad, which isn't surprising since he's old school.

Sure, he has those things, but the Arkansas Baptist College football coach is a hands-on, old-school coach who does things the right way.

The man who coached at Arkansas, Clemson, Minnesota, Missouri and Oklahoma State came home to Arkansas -- he's from Hope -- for all the right reasons.

Winning is one of his priorities, but it is not his only one.

For him, football is about teaching.

Football teaches self-discipline, self-control and self-confidence.

It is about getting an education and doing things the right way.

Tuesday was football media day at Arkansas Baptist, the oldest historically Black Baptist college west of the Mississippi -- it was founded in 1884 -- and the hardest working man in TV, Steve Sullivan from KATV Channel 7, was there. So was KLRT Channel 16.

When Athletic Director Bill Ingram, who is cut from the same old school cloth as Wilson, says the doors are open you go.

Ingram has dedicated his life to making a difference in young peoples' lives as a summer basketball coach and the founder of Real Deal in the Rock.

Ingram and Wilson were there for the media day and the entire four-man coaching staff was on hand.

Ashdone Bailey is the defensive coordinator and the social media king of the group with 50,000 followers on Twitter. Body Stane is the receivers coach. Thaddeus Ary and Lavon Meeks complete the staff.

This is a busy week for them as they open their season Saturday at Bethel University, a four-hour bus ride, before playing four consecutive games at home, mostly at Little Rock Central High School.

A handful of players were there and they shared more than having purple jerseys. Each one had one word on the back.

Instead of a name was "Attitude."

Wilson has 44 players on the varsity but a total of 120 on the team.

Anyone is allowed to try out, anyone who is willing to practice hard and play by the rules, and the first rule is go to class followed closely by make smart decisions.

When Wilson arrived 14 years ago, about 80% of the team was from out of state, Now it is about 80% Arkansans.

"We are a school trying to make a difference in our home state and community," Ingram said.

It is not an easy job but one that is embraced by Ingram and his entire athletic department. They do it for the kids, not the money.


Did anyone really think Alabama's Nick Saban wasn't getting a raise.

The minute Georgia announced it had given Kirby Smart a raise that ultimately could have paid him more than Saban, it should have been obvious there was no way Saban was going to make less than one of his former assistants.

It is probably etched in his contract he'll be the highest paid coach in college football.

So the 70-year-old Saban got a new eight-year deal worth at least $93.6 million. Or $11.7 million per year on average. That's $225,000 per week or $5,625 per hour for a 40-hour week, which Saban would call a short week.

According to the story in Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Saban, Smart, Ohio State's Ryan Day, Michigan State's Mel Tucker, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher and LSU's Brian Kelly will all make more than $9 million this season.

Kelly has not coached a LSU game yet.

The average NFL salary for a head coach is slightly north of $6 million.

No wonder college football players all over the country are wanting a share of the revenue.

Print Headline: Wilson working hard for Arkansas Baptist


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