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After finishing her softball career at Western Illinois three years ago, Briana Williams wasn't entirely sure if she would remain in the area.

Originally from Oklahoma City, Williams was in a relationship with a gentleman from Moline and had a decision to make.

"Are we going to make this work or do I move home?" Williams said.

Williams chose love.

So after two seasons as a softball assistant at Davenport North, the 25-year-old was promoted to head coach Monday. She takes over for Turner Estes, who stepped down after nine seasons.

"Since I've been an assistant the last two years, I feel like I have an obligation and responsibility to take care of them and get them to the next level," Williams said. "I already know where they stand and how much potential they have. I love these girls so much, and they're kind of like family to me."

Williams teaches health and physical education at North. She also coaches boys swimming and girls track and field.

This will be the first opportunity for her to lead her own program.

"I'm so stoked yet I'm nervous," said Williams, who was a utility player at Western Illinois and a team captain. "I'm super excited because I have so many great ideas and some great plans. It isn't just on the softball side but getting them to the next level. I want to give them an opportunity to experience what I experienced.

"Everybody wants to win and everybody wants to be the best. I want to push these girls to a point where they thought they never could go."

North was 12-25 in 2015 and 17-23 this past summer. The Wildcats had five underclassmen in their starting lineup this past season.

Williams said the first objective is to get the girls to buy in.

"Just because changes are going to be made, it doesn't mean they are bad changes," Williams noted. "A lot of people don't like change.

"The number one step to being successful is for them to buy into what we're selling. I'm excited to see what these girls can do."


Sports Editor

Prep sports editor, with emphasis on covering the Mississippi Athletic Conference and Iowa area high schools. I've been in sports journalism for 17 years, the last five at the Quad-City Times.