Newport High grad Paul Wiggins Jr. coming home as head coach of Wildcat’s football team

Newport High School graduate Paul Wiggins Jr. is returning home as the new head coach of the Newport Wildcats’ varsity football team.

Coach Wiggins is a 1986 Newport High School graduate who played defensive end and outside linebacker for the Wildcats. He is in his eighth year as a middle school special education teacher who came to teaching after a corporate career.

“It is very exciting to be coming home,” Coach Wiggins said. “God’s plan for everyone is always different. I was going to help out former head coach Ryan Hahn this season, so now to be able to serve as head coach is great.

Newport Coach Paul Wiggins (File photo)

“The team is already working out, and I am very much enjoying the start we are off to. I’m very excited with the opportunities and possibilities with this team. The reception I have received has been amazing. Now it’s about getting down to work and carrying this beyond the honeymoon.”

Coach Wiggins brings a wealth of experience to the Newport High School football program, said Newport Independent Schools Athletic Director Mike Hunter.

“Coach Wiggins is well aware of the culture and climate of the school and community,” Hunter said. “He grew up in Newport, wore the red and black as a player, and his heart has been at Newport even though he was leading another program. He is committed to instilling positive characteristics into his players that will make them successful on the field as well as in life.”

Coach Wiggins described his coaching philosophy is looking for and elevating players who aren’t interested in individual accomplishments but who want to make the team better.

“I want a team full of players who know their role and who work hard on behalf of the entire team,” he said. “If a kid says I need the ball, that doesn’t work with me. For me, it’s all about the team.”

Paul Wiggins (File photo)

Coach Wiggins comes to the Wildcat program after a successful decade-long run at Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria. After taking over a program with just 21 players, he led the Mustangs to a record of 67-43 and three district championships.

During Wiggins’ tenure, the Mustang Athletic Complex that includes a football field opened in 2020.

“We took the program at Brossart from a low point to respectability, and I’m proud of what we accomplished,” Coach Wiggins said. “I was there when the stadium was being built, and I really wanted to see that through.”

At Newport, Coach Wiggins will lead the Wildcats during their first season in the newly revamped Newport Stadium. The nearly 90-year old stadium has been shut down for the past two seasons while structural repairs and improvements were made, forcing the Wildcats to play all of their games on the road.

“We are looking at five home games and two scrimmages in the stadium,” Coach Wiggins said. “I know the players, the fans, the school district and the community are anxious to get back to the stadium. We are now about getting to the work of carrying our success to the new stadium and to beyond just the home games.”

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