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American Football coach says farewell to Highland Wildcats

By Staff Reporter

Highland Wildcats head coach James Hudson has stepped down from his role.

Highland Wildcats head coach James Hudson has stepped down. Picture: Scott Macdonald
Highland Wildcats head coach James Hudson has stepped down. Picture: Scott Macdonald

Hudson had been running the American Football club’s under-19s side since 2016, having been involved in one form or another for the last decade.

He started out as a player, then worked his way through the coaching team as offense co-ordinator before taking on the top coaching role.

He said it was a hard decision.

“It has been mulled over for a little bit of time,” he said.

“I’ve been involved with the Wildcats for 10 years, I’ve done 10 seasons of coaching, so it was just a chance to take a step back. It’s quite a lot of work, a lot is done behind the scenes.

“It was just time to get a bit of a breather in a way, just to give myself a bit of time to relax.

“Potentially I’ll be going back to the Highland Stags adult team, just to play. I could only have a few years left of playing there, but I could still have another 30-odd years of coaching.

“It’s not a step away from the sport, I will still be involved just more in a playing capacity.”

Having been with the Wildcats for so long, Hudson built up several teams who would go on to be very successful.

But the highlights of his tenure are not just limited to the field.

“In my first year of moving up to one of the main coaching roles, when I was offense co-ordinator, that was the year we went on to win our first UK Championship in 2011,” he recalled.

“One of the bigger achievements would be seeing the ones that have gone through the youth system and the under-19s, that have now moved on to other teams.

“Seeing that progression, it shows that the system can work. Even the same aspect if they’re not playing, they’re still coaching.”

On his final season in charge, Hudson added: “We bowed out of the season with a win. Technically 3-3 is still classed as a winning record.

“It has been tough considering we faced two of the top three teams in the UK, it’s been competitive.”

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