Blair Wilson Named New FHS Head Football Coach

Blair Wilson, the new Franklin High School head football coach, addresses the school board and audience at the January 27 meeting.

It’s official: Blair Wilson is the new head football coach at Franklin High School.

Wilson was formally named to the $14,123.34 position at the Board of Education’s January 27 meeting.

Wilson, the former head coach at Franklin Middle School, takes over a program that has not seen a winning year since the 2012-2013 school year, when the team posted a 6-5 record under coach Lou Solomon.

The immediate past coach, John Paczkowski, resigned in November 2021 after garnering an 11-29 record during his four-year tenure.

Wilson was the benefactor of heavy lobbying by the township’s football community. Advocates showed up at the November 18, 2021 school board meeting and a special December 6, 2021 town hall meeting at the high school, during which principal Nicholas Solomon and athletic director Ken Margolin explained the process behind selecting a new head football coach.

At the January 27 Board meeting, Wilson said he was “ready to get to work and build better student athletes and work lockstep with the Board and Administration and bring back the winning tradition to Franklin, both on the football field and off the football field.”

“I just wanted to say thank-you for taking the chance on Blair Wilson,” he said.

FHS principal Nicholas Solomon, who, like Wilson, was a member of FHS’s state championship teams, said Wilson was “a special person to Franklin High School, but he’s also a special person to me and my family, and I can’t wait to see him carry out the tradition of Franklin High School football, because I know he knows what those traditions are.”

“I know the kids at Franklin High School are going to be ecstatic at seeing him in the building, and I look forward to working with you,” Solomon said.

Board member Bill Grippo said he’s confident that Wilson will “bring back that winning spirit” to Franklin High School.

“I know that Coach Wilson is going to be able to do that,” Grippo said. “It’s so important to our kids for their self-esteem and future leadership possibilities.”

Board member Dennis Hopkins said that he was sure that “with your leadership, you’ll be able to tap into the great athletes that we do have at the high school and put together a winning program.”

Board member Sami Shaban noted that Wilson had once coached one of his sons.

“I think one of the reasons why there were so many people here is a testament to how much you care for your kids,” Shaban said. “It transcends the football field.”

“We’re looking forward to what you can do to mold these kids on the field and off the field,” he said. “Not just making a winning program but molding these boys into men.”

Coaches and vice principals have the ability to mold their students “to be winners, both in life and in football,” Board member Mike Smith said. “Don’t take it lightly, those kids are going to look up to you.”

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