Searcy high school teacher tackling grad school while also playing college football

Local News

A second-year social studies teacher in Searcy spends his days in a high school classroom, then heads to grad school classes, all before hitting the gridiron as an All-Conference college football player at the same time.

SEARCY, Ark. (KARK) — Searcy High School students know him as Mr. Williams the history teacher, but Harding University football players know him as Enoch Williams, the first-team all-conference long snapper.

Williams was named to the All-Great American Conference team after the Bison won the GAC regular-season championship with a 10-1 record. 

“I didn’t expect it at all,” he said. “It’s been a great season for us.”

Harding is preparing for the first round of the playoffs Saturday, but Williams spent Wednesday afternoon preparing Searcy students for their next American History test. He’s taught full-time for the last two years.

“Kids are absolutely wild these days, and this class is a perfect example of that,” he said, gesturing to around 15 students in his classroom. “They’re a lot of fun.”

It’s a feeling that is mutual. His students love him.

“If I see him in the hallway, I say, ‘What’s up?’ and talk to him for a bit,” Caleb Cunningham, a junior wide receiver for Searcy’s football team, said.

Cunningham explained Williams is an easy teacher to learn from because he makes the material accessible to students.

“It was never a boring subject,” Cunningham said. “He always made it fun.”

The student said he heard rumors last year that Williams played college football and wanted to find out for himself. Since then, the wideout has been eager to show the teacher his best plays.

“I’ll show him all my highlights,” Cunningham said. “It’s a good part of the day.”

Teaching and playing constitute a busy schedule, but Williams is also a full-time graduate student through Harding’s online program. He’s studying to get an advanced degree in kinesiology.

“I’ll graduate in May with my master’s degree,” Williams said.

To stay focused, Williams said the key to his success is time management.

“I deleted all social media apps from my phone, just because I don’t have time for it,” he explained. “I really weed out the distractions and focus on the things that matter the most.”

Williams will finish his Harding playing career when the season ends. Then, he plans to focus on teaching and coaching, where he hopes to have the same all-conference impact.

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