RICHMOND, Va.-- John Marshall's search for a new Head Football Coach didn't even leave their building.
Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, interim Athletic Director Danyelle Smith and her staff conducted virtual interviews for the position by Zoom conference calls.
"The administration team here at John Marshall got together and just decide to go virtual," Smith. "The same invites to those candidates that were selected to interview were sent an invite through Zoom and we just used that process and it worked out perfectly."
Out of the candidates that applied and eventually interviewed for the job, Willie Gillus III checked all the boxes and was hired to become the new Head Coach at John Marshall. It's the first Head Coaching job at any level for Gillus, who a year ago was the school's P.E. teacher.
"This is always been one of my life goals," Coach Gillus stated. "So everything that I've been doing up to this point has been to get to where I am now."
"Coach Gillus was already in the building which was a plus," Smith explained. "For any program I think, you want especially your Head Coach to be in the building so they can build those relationships with the kids. So with him already in the building as a teacher, he already developed a lot of the relationships with those players and students."
Gillus takes over a John Marshall program who has made the playoffs two straight years for only the third time in school history and finished with a winning record for the first time since 2012.
"We'll continue the winning tradition," Gillus expressed. "We were able to go 6-4 last season. We lost in the first round of the playoffs. I don't think there was anything wrong with the season. I just think we could have made a few different decisions and might have changed a few outcomes of the game."
And with no Spring program right now, Gillus has become creative in getting his message out to his team.
"I'm a very involved person," Coach Gillus said. "I like to be involved and engaged with the kids. So at this time, it's been kind of a communication standpoint of just texting the guys and reaching out to them. We're doing a lot of at home workouts. Body weights, squats, push-ups, kind of keeping our bodies in shape since we can do any group setting workouts."