CHRISTIANSBURG, VA(WFXR) — The Christiansburg High School football program has continued to produce phenomenal talent on the field – but what about on the sidelines. When we talk about football we tend to focus on the players – but what about the coaches. over at Christiansburg High School – some of them are one in the same.

“So I came in when Coach Wilkens got the program, I knew I wanted to give back to the program and I knew we had some things coming on and I wanted to get on the train and do what we had to do,” said Christiansburg 2012 grad and coach Ervin Buchannon.

“I graduated in 2020 during COVID and all that. Then I enlisted in the United States Army Reserves and when I came back from basic training Coach Wilkens gave me an opportunity to come out here to coach and intern my first year,” said Christiansburg 2020 grad and coach Rally Williams.

The transition from player to coach has come with it’s fair share of ups and downs.

“My first year here was the 0-10 season when I was in high school, I only lost about 5 games my whole entire career so that was a learning experience. It taught me some patience and accountability understanding and the love of the game,” said Buchannon.

“My first year as an intern coached some of the guys that I played with and even my stepbrother was on the team Spencer Conner it was interesting sometimes too because as a coach you want respect, but it’s earned,” said Williams.

Currently – six out of the ten coaches on head football coach Alex Wilkens staff are former Blue Demons. some have also gone on from the high school ranks to excel on the collegiate level as well. which has now solidified the pipeline of former players turned coaches from the program.

“Brandon Buckner was also on one of the first hires that I had here. He worked his way up and started as a volunteer then he became our JV offensive coordinator coached our receivers and our quarterbacks then he got job through networking and things like that. Now he’s down at FIU at Florida International and doing a great job of turning around the program down there,” said Christiansburg head coach Alex Wilkens.

As players turned coaches continue to find success on and off the field – Coach Wilkens couldn’t be more proud.

“When our kids leave our program, we want them to feel like they got immense value when they were here. We’re not paying them you know initially so they’re volunteering their time to come back and do this so that means that there is definitely some love for the program love for the kids love for the process and they want to see it be successful,” said Wilkins.