David Wilson - USAF - Tallahassee, FL
Education and Training Accomplishments:
- 1966, June-graduation Crawfordville (FL) HS, National Honor Society, Math award
- 1971, June-Florida State University, BS degree-education, completed Air Force ROTC, (inducted into Arnold Air Society 1968)
- Commissioned as Second Lieutenant, entered active duty July 1971, assigned to the 381st
- Strategic Missile Wing (Titan II) at McConnell AFB, KS.
- 1971, 8 Oct-completed Missile Launch Officer technical school, (LGM-25) Sheppard AFB, TX
- 1971, 3 Dec-Wilson completed Strategic Air Command (SAC) Missile Combat Crew operational readiness training, Titan II (LGM25C) Vandenberg AFB, CA
- 1972, 25 January, successfully qualified as Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander (DMCCC) for Titan II weapon system. Strategic Air Command, (SAC) McConnell AFB, KS
- 1972, August 18, successfully completed SAC academic instructor orientation, Carswell AFB, TX
- 1975, May, completed requirements for Masters of Education degree in Administration and Supervision, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
- 1975-2016-Ongoing teacher/administrator certification requirements
Professional and Employment History:
- 1966-1971 United States Post Office/US Postal Service
- 1971, July to 1975 July- United States Air Force, McConnell AFB, KS, 381st Strategic Missile Wing, Strategic Air Command, separated as Captain in July 1975
- 1975-76 Madison (FL) HS, math teacher, assistant football coach. Head Track and Field coach
- 1976-77 Taylor County FIS, Perry FL, math teacher, assistant football coach, (installed option offense)
Head Track and Field Coach
- 1977-78 Madison (FL) HS, Assistant Principal, assistant football coach (defensive coordinator)
- 1978-1982 Crescent City (FL) HS, Dean of Students, Athletic Director, Head Football Coach
- 1982-1991-Middleburg (FL) HS, PE teacher, Head Football Coach, Head Weightlifting Coach
- 1991-2007-Lincoln HS, Tallahassee FL,
- (1991-2005) PE and In school detention teacher, Head Football Coach, Head Weightlifting Coach, Lincoln HS, Tallahassee FL
- 2007-2016- Assistant Principal, (Athletic Director 2008-09) Lincoln High School, Tallahassee FL
William David Wilson entered Florida State University in 1966. The oldest of four children, his family could not pay for his college education. While a full time student at FSU, he worked for the US Post Office as a mail clerk to pay for his college education. Initially, he worked between 16-20 hours per week at the Tallahassee Main Post Office, (downtown) then working full time, (40 hours a week) going to work at midnight(Woodward Avenue Facility), getting off at 0830, then heading to FSU to complete classwork. Wilson was a member of the USAF ROTC program and was inducted into the Arnold Air Society in 1968.
Upon graduation, Wilson was Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the USAF. He was assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC), 381st Strategic Missile Wing (SMW), McConnell AFB, KS as a Missile Launch Officer for the Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) weapon system. Completing the training schools to become Combat Crew Ready, he qualified in January 1972 as a Deputy Missile Combat Crew Commander (DMCCC). Less than one month later, his teaching skills were recognized and he was promoted to the Instructional Squadron as a Deputy instructor. In November of 1972, he advanced to the Wing Senior Deputy Instructor position, responsible for writing lesson plans and training other Deputy Instructors.
In August of 1973, ILt. Wilson qualified as a Missile Combat Crew Commander (MCCC). On his Officer Efficiency Rating (OER) dated 30 Nov 73, the evaluator writes: “Lt Wilson’s leadership and system knowledge are also evidenced by the results of his crew’s monthly training package where he and his crew missed no questions out of 120, the finest record ot an\ crew in the win<>. ” The Squadron Commander endorses his OER and states: “It is noteworthy that Lt Wilson was given a crew not noted for its superiority, and in less than four months raised the level of crew proficiency to recognition as “Number One ” line crew in the Wing, and selection as crew of the month.” By December of 1973, he was chosen as an Instructor Commander. In January 1974, his strong work ethic, expertise, technical knowledge, command and leadership skills were recognized and Wilson was selected to Command a crew in the SAC Missile Combat Crew Competition known as Olympic Arena or “OA” held annually in April-May at Vandenberg AFB CA. Three Titan II Wings and six Minuteman Wings each sent their four “best of the best” operations crews to compete. Lt Wilson and his crew had no experience in “OA” and were among the youngest and least experienced crews to compete. At the end of the 1974 competition, and with less than a year experience as a Titan II Missile Combat Crew Commander, Lt Wilson’s crew had outscored the other 35 crews, leading the 381 SMW to the title of Best Missile Wine Operations in SAC. They earned the title of Best Titan II Crew and the Best Missile Combat Crew in SAC. He was then assigned as a Standardization/Evaluation MCCC. In 1975, Lt Wilson returned to Olympic Arena, this time, not as a competitor, but training (coaching) all 381st SMW Operational crews. The 381st SMW ops crews outscored all other Wings and won the title of Best Missile Wing Operations, and combined with maintenance crew results, the 381st SMW won the Blanchard Trophy signifying it as the Best Missile Wing in SAC. In July 1975, following his dream of being a High School Head Football coach. Captain Wilson separated from the USAF.
In 1978, after three seasons as an Assistant Football Coach in Madison and Taylor County FL, Wilson became the Head Football Coach and Athletic Director at Class 2A school, CRESCENT CITY FL HS. The 1978 team advanced further than any team in school history playing in the semifinals of the State Championship series. That remains as the furthest advance of any football team in Crescent City history. As Athletic Director, he added competitive weightlifting and entered an athlete in the State Decathlon competition; this athlete won the competition, a remarkable accomplishment from a small school athlete. During his four years at Crescent City HS, he implemented and successfully followed Title IX regulations, the Federal Civil Rights Law as it relates to female sports. In 1979, he volunteered his services to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA). He became District 4 Director and was on the Board of Directors until his retirement in 2005.
In 1982, Coach Wilson moved to MIDDLEBURG FL HS, a larger. Class 4A School outside of Jacksonville, as the Head Coach of Football and Weightlifting. In nine years, his teams won 4 District Championships and two Bowl games; these are the only District and Bowl Championships in football at Middleburg HS as of this writing. While at Middleburg, he was elected to the Executive Committee of the FACA and served as President in 1987-88, also serving on the Board of Directors of the Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA). From 1988-1994, elected as FACA State Football Chairman; he was responsible for securing speakers for the FACA football clinics and running the football portion of the clinic. He secured many of the coaching greats of the time: Bobby Bowden. Steve Spurrier, Joe Patemo, Bill Curry, Howard Schnellenberger, and Sam Rutigliano among many. He served on the Florida Department of Education Committee to establish requirements for a Coaching Certificate, currently required of all coaches.
In 1991, he moved to TALLAHASSEE FL LINCOLN HS as Head Coach of Football and Weightlifting. Under his leadership, Lincoln had its first undefeated team in school history and received high rankings in USA Today HS football polls. A 1999 regular season victory over National Power Valdosta GA HS and the Class 6A State Championship victory (highest classification in Florida at the time) over nationally recognized Miami Southridge at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium/Florida Field (UF) propelled Lincoln into the National spotlight. It was the first State Football Championship in school history. In 2001, Lincoln won its second State Championship by defeating an undefeated Ft Lauderdale St Thomas Aquinas HS in Doak Campbell Stadium (FSU). At the end of the 2001 year, Lincoln HS received the “Gatorade Trophy” as the Best High School Football Team in Florida. From its inception around 1998 until he retired in 2016, Wilson was the only coach in the State of Florida serving on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) of the Florida High School Athletic Association. (FHSAA)
In 2005, after 31 years coaching HS football, 27 as Head Coach and his coaching dreams fulfilled, Wilson retired from coaching to care for his aging parents. He had changed lives! His record stood at 213 wins, 94 losses and 1 tie. In addition to the two State Championships, his teams won five regional, 12 district, and numerous conference and city championships. Wilson worked hard to place his student-athletes into college, when he retired, 147 of his players had received scholarship aid to play college football with over 90 of them being to Division 1 schools. Many would not have been able to attend college but are now college graduates as a result of the scholarship they received. He received many “Coach of the Year” Awards and coached All State players. Parade All Americans and USA Today All Americans. He was selected to coach in six Florida vs Georgia HS All Star games, serving as Head Coach in 1994. Wilson was also selected as Head Coach of the “CaliFlorida Bowl.” the game between California and Florida HS All Stars. Game 1 was played in the Rose Bowl, and Game 6 was played in the Orange Bowl. He was the Head Coach 6 of the 7 games, Florida beat California 5 times. Wilson also coached in the US ARMY All American Bowl played in the Alamodome at San Antonio, TX. Future Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow played in the CaliFlorida Bowl and the Army All American Bowls in which Wilson coached. After retiring from coaching, he remained at Lincoln HS as an Asst. Principal. Working in the discipline and attendance offices, he encountered students who were troubled or unsure of their future path not having available funds to attend college. He recognized that many were good kids who needed structure, discipline and/or motivation. Encouraging them to join the Military after graduation, he talked to them about the GI Bill, benefits, and skills they could learn, plus the maturity it brought. Quite a few did and he was honored to introduce them at their high school graduation ceremony. Many returned after joining to visit and he could see the immediate change in their focus, maturity and personality. He was still changing lives!
Advocacy on Behalf of Veterans:
This is a partial accounting, as a complete accounting would exceed the number of pages allowed. Upon retiring from Coaching, Wilson served on the committee to bring the “Traveling Vietnam Wall” to Tallahassee in 2006. He joined the Bud West Chapter 419 of the Air Force Association. He worked to select the Bud West AFA Teacher of The Year while serving on the Board of Directors. Wilson later joined the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 96, AMVETS Chapter 1776, and joined as an associate member of the Arthur R Meyer Jr Detachment 472 of the Marine Corps League. His membership remains in American Legion Post 68 in Madison FL which he joined in 1975.
A passionate student of WW2, coaching retirement allowed him to study and research WW2. One of his first projects was WW2 service of citizens from Madison FL. (part of this research is memorialized in the “Treasures of Madison County”) Researching a 6th Marine Division man from Madison who was KIA atop Sugar Loaf Hill in Okinawa reminded him of Tommy Oliver. Coaching in Tallahassee, Wilson had taken his teams to Tommy Oliver Stadium in Panama City many times. Often, Wilson would ask the question, “Who was Tommy Oliver?” The only answer received was that Oliver was KIA on a Pacific Island during WW2. Wilson’s research found that Tommy Oliver was KIA, 5 June 45 on Okinawa. A stone marker in the ground was not highly visible. Wilson contacted (and joined) the 6th Marine Division Association, they agreed to provide a plaque about Tommy Oliver. Working with the Bay County Athletic Director, the plaque was placed at the main entrance of the stadium in a highly visible area. In 2005, seeking information on his father’s service during WW2, David Wilson joined the 6th Bomb Group Association. By 2011, with an aging membership, he was asked to serve as Co-historian. becoming the first descendent member to serve in this position. Duties included being in charge of
the history room at reunions, collecting, storing, and memorializing veteran’s diaries, stories, memorabilia etc. He remains in that position as of this writing.
An ongoing project of Wilson is to Memorialize The WW2 Service of men and women at the National World War II Memorial site in Washington DC. As of this writing he has memorialized the service of 169 men and women, primarily from Madison FL and the 6th Bomb Group.
Trips to Pacific Islands In 2011, seeking to walk in the footsteps of his deceased father, Wilson traveled to Tinian Island where his father served during WW2. For four years, he continued these trips to WW2 battlefields like Peleliu, Saipan, Iwo Jima and others. Returning home, he shared his knowledge of the Pacific War with high school classes, church groups, Veteran organizations and Rotary etc. He often invited Iwo Jima veteran and survivor Lt. General Lawrence Snowden to attend and offer his remarks.
A trip to Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) pays forward! In December 2008, Wilson traveled to Arlington to participate in the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) event. Emotionally touched, he enthusiastically spread the word to family members and for several years this became an annual family reunion event; one year, about twenty members of his extended family attended. In 2015 with the opening of Tallahassee National Cemetery. (TNC) he moved his efforts there where he and his grandsons have participated each year in the WAA event (except 2020). Knowing of persons buried in Arlington, he took photos and shared them with the relatives, all were appreciative and some were emotionally touched. Returning to Tallahassee after his first trip in 2008, Wilson contacted the Wreaths Across America organization in Maine and volunteered his services. He was selected as the Florida Point of Contact for the “State House Ceremony” in which a Wreath is laid at the 50 State Capitols. In December 2009, reaching out to local Veteran groups and the Leon County schools, he organized and directed the first event at the Capitol. World War II veterans were honored; speakers were Retired USMC Lt. General Lawrence Snowden. Retired USN Admiral Leroy Collins Jr and Governor Charlie Crist. He organizes, selects the theme, and secures speakers for the event. In 2010, Gold Star Families were honored; in 2011; the event commemorated the “9-11” Attack on America by honoring fire, police and medical first responders. Other groups honored at this event have been veterans of Korea, Vietnam, Global War on Terrorism, Female Veterans, Military Chaplains and others. Other speakers have been Lt. General Robert Milligan, Lt. Gov Jennifer Carroll, Colonel Mike Prendergast. Major John Haynes. CMSgt John Schmidt, Commander Dennis Baker and others. A highlight of the 2019 event was Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis attending and offering her remarks. (She met privately with Gold Star Families prior to the event) Veteran’s organizations such as Patriot Guard Riders, Vietnam Veterans of America, VFW, American Legion, MOAA, Marine Corps League and others are invited. Leon County Schools provide a bus for each high school and JROTC students perform Color Guard duties and students from Leon County Schools attend and participate. Several hundred people attend each year, (except the pandemic year of 2020) Since 2009, Wilson has been in charge of this event, he has invited Gold Star Families every year. After the 2010 event honoring Gold Star Families, Leon School Superintendent Jackie Pons noted that there was no monument in Tallahassee to those who lost their lives after Vietnam. Pons had the Bloxham Building “Wall of Remembrance” erected. He asked Wilson to work on the dedication ceremony. He worked with Veteran groups and school personnel to honor and remember those from Leon County Schools lost in the “Global War on Terrorism.” Retired USMC Lt. General Lawrence Snowden was the keynote speaker. Wilson also assisted in the coordination of parking, transportation of dignitaries and handicapped persons and organizing the agenda. In 2017, Wilson served on the committee to add the name of SCPO Vernon Foster, USN, who was killed on the USS Starke in 1987. Retired Navy Admiral Rick Grant was the keynote speaker, and Wilson continued his same duties from 2013.
In May 2013, Wilson was asked to speak at the Tallahassee FL Oakland Cemetery Memorial Day event of American Legion Post 13. He spoke about men from Leon county schools that lost their lives in the “Global War on Terrorism.”
In November 2019, his two grandsons, his daughter and he laid a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
In 2011, Wilson volunteered to support the annual Veterans Day Parade in Tallahassee. His primary duty was being the liaison between the Leon County HS Bands and JROTC units that participated in the parade. His support continues as of this writing.
For several years, Wilson supported the Florida Veterans Standdown by helping acquire school guidance professionals to evaluate veteran’s education standing and opportunities.
Another Trip Pays Forward In January 2019, Wilson and several friends toured Ft Benning GA with Retired US Army Colonel Danny McKnight of the “Blackhawk Down” incident. They visited locations from the movie “We Were Soldiers.” Colonel McKnight took them to the Ft Benning cemetery to visit the grave of a man who died in Somalia; Colonel McKnight leaves a rock on his grave along with others lost in Somalia. With an idea and a new interest, Wilson began studying men from Tallahassee that “Gave Their Last Full Measure” in Vietnam. He searched for and found their graves. He paints a rock and places the man’s name along with the word “Hero” on it. Media outlets, families, and other veterans are invited to the now yearly events. They place the “Hero Rock” and an American Flag on each grave so loved ones will know that someone visited. Minor clean up duties are performed. At each grave site, participants perform a salute of respect and honor to the man with Veterans performing a hand salute and non-veterans placing their hand over their heart. Photos are taken and shared with family. Wilson has long felt that Vietnam Veterans did not and have not received the Recognition, Respect And Honor they deserve. This is his effort to lessen that pain for veterans and Gold Star families. In 2020, his study of Vietnam casualties was extended to North Florida and South Georgia. His ongoing research is now over 150. Out of town trips to S. Georgia and N. Florida have resulted in the placing of the “Hero Rock” and American Flag on 56 graves. Media and family were invited to these events, plus he invited and transported aging Vietnam veterans, picking them up and returning them home. This is done at Wilson’s own expense.
During the pandemic year of2020 and attendance limited at Tallahassee National Cemetery for the Wreaths Across America event, Wilson shifted his focus to local citizens who died during our wars. Money was raised by VVA Chapter 96 for the purchase of Wreaths to be placed on graves in local cemeteries. Wilson had been studying men from Leon County that died serving America and are buried in Leon County. Wreaths were placed on graves of approximately 60 men who died serving America during WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and the Global War on Terrorism. To ensure that the tradition of decorating graves of our heroes is passed on, he acquired help from his grandsons and other elementary, middle and high school students. He studied each man and at the grave site told a short history of the man and his sacrifice. The young people were asked to lay the Wreath on the grave, step back and say the man’s name aloud; being told that as long as his name is spoken, he is not forgotten. A short written bio of the man was given to the young person as a remembrance. A salute to the man, (same as above for Vietnam dead) was performed.
His study of men buried in Leon County who made the ultimate sacrifice is an ongoing work. Currently, Wilson has identified and found the graves of 73 men buried in Leon County. (As of this writing, no females have been lost) he photographed the graves and documented their locations on maps. This information has been compiled in a booklet to be used for future generations to decorate these heroes’ graves on Patriotic Holidays. He continues to have students participate in these remembrance and grave decorations events.
In March of 2021, to commemorate National Vietnam War Veterans Dav, Wilson worked with Leon School Superintendent Rocky Hanna and arranged for Vietnam Veterans to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at local high school baseball and softball games. Male veterans selected for boys games and female veterans for girls games. Other Vietnam Veterans attended and stood behind the pitcher’s mound in support. Veterans were introduced to the crowd and a brief history of the Vietnam conflict was shared along with the names of students from that school who died in Vietnam. It was a great success and the veterans in attendance were thrilled at the recognition, respect, and honor shown to them by students, coaches, administrators and fans. Superintendent Hanna attended several games and stood with the veterans. All are looking forward to 2022.
In March 2021, Chiles HS of Tallahassee conducted a “Raise the Flag Event” dedicating a new forty foot flagpole and honoring Veterans. Wilson was asked to invite Veterans, there was a large turnout of veterans and they were pleased at the respect and recognition they received.
On 14 August 2020, Wilson spoke on the End of WW2 at the Tallahassee National Cemetery.
Wilson has also supported veterans and veteran programs through the Toys for Tots Program, Honor Flight etc. Known for his veteran’s activities, he is often asked to speak or secure speakers for Patriotic events.
Wilson served for five years on Academy Nomination Panels, three years for Congressman Steve Southerland and two years for Congressman Neal Dunn.
Civic Activities and Contributions:
In addition to the activities listed below, Wilson’s work on other civic activities could be included in this section, I have chosen to place them in other sections within this packet.
Coach Wilson was a member in the following organizations while a teacher/coach/administrator.
- Florida Athletic Coaches Association-(FACA) Member 1975-2005, The FACA is the organization of coaches for all boys and girls sports in Florida
- American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) The AFCA is the organization for College, HS and other football coaches to include professional football coaches.
- Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (FIAAA) The FIAAA is the organization of Athletic Administrators in Florida
- Baptist Churches-Madison FL, Crescent City FL, Middleburg FL, Tallahassee FL
For 20 years, first at Middleburg and then at Lincoln, (1985-2005) Coach Wilson conducted a free tryout camp that was patterned after the National Football League (NFL) Combine. The camp showcased HS seniors who had not received a football scholarship to a Division 1 school. Seniors from over 300 High Schools in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama were invited. Almost 200 small colleges, NCAA Division HI, National Association of Interscholastic Athletics (NAIA) and Junior Colleges were invited. Players were tested in the 40 yard dash, bench press, vertical jump and other tests of athletic ability. Many years, over 250 HS athletes attended with an estimated 20 players per year receiving offers of aid to continue their education and dream of playing college football. Several played professionally and one coached in the National Football League. The camp was run by volunteers with cheerleaders and students recording the scores. No player or college was assessed any fees.
In 1995, Coach David Wilson was diagnosed with and underwent surgery for prostate cancer. It was the middle of football season and he missed four games during the 1995 season, it was the lead story on Radio and TV stations and front page news in the Tallahassee Democrat. His story traveled through HS and College coaching circles. Some College Head Football coaches required their assistant coaches to undergo exams. A graduate assistant college coach was found to have testicular cancer and was successfully treated. Wilson spoke on radio shows, public meetings, coaching clinics and walked in the 1996 Relay for Life as a cancer survivor. He spoke privately with and visited fearful men. Wilson recently counseled a man who stopped him at a Little League Baseball game. He is an advocate for early prostate screening and has been cancer free since his surgery in 1995.
Coach Wilson has been a speaker at churches and schools, etc. He has taken his football players to elementary schools to promote reading in the “Read Across America” campaign.
A Popular Speaker, Coach Wilson Spoke At Football Clinics Listed Below:
- 1988-University of Florida, Liberty University
- 1995-Florida Athletic Coaches Association Clinic, Nike Coach of the Year Clinic, Orlando FL
- 2000-University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Alabama, University of Georgia Nike Coach of the Year Clinic, Orlando FL,
- 2002-FSU. University of North Carolina, Valdosta State University, Louisiana State University 2004-American Football Coaches Association Clinic, Orlando, FL
Awards and Honors:
- 1962,1 -07, Eagle Scout-Boy Scouts of America, David Wilson was the first Boy Scout in Apalachicola FL to achieve this rank in many years.
- 1970, 6-24-Superior Accomplishment Award, United States Postal Service
- 2013-Woodmen Of The World: Community Leadership Award
United States Air Force 1971-1975:
- 1974-February, The 381SMW selected Titan II Commander Wilson and his crew for “Crew of the Month” recognition in the magazine Combat Crew, the safety magazine of Strategic Air Command.
- 1974-Wilson Commanded (MCCC) the winning crew in the 1974 Strategic Air Command Combat Missile Competition “Olympic Arena.” His crew earned the title of Best Titan II and Best Missile Combat Crew in SAC and he was recognized as the Best Missile Combat Crew Commander in SAC.
- 1974 Awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal
- 1974, June, The 381SMW again selected ILt. Wilson and his crew for “Crew of the Month” recognition in the magazine Combat Crew, the safety magazine of Strategic Air Command.
- 1975-Wilson and his crew were featured on the inside cover of the magazine “Center City Welcomes You to Wichita” An unofficial publication given to new arrivals at McConnell AFB containing information about McConnell AFB and Wichita KS.
- 1975, July, Commander’s Achievement Award, awarded by the 381st SMW Commander, Wilson trained all 381st SMW operations crews for the 1975 SAC Missile competition, they won Best Operations Trophy. The 381st SMW won the Blanchard Trophy signifying it as the Best Missile Wing in SAC.
- 1975 Awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster
- Awarded the National Defense Service Medal Awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Lincoln High School-Tallahassee, FL:
- 1999-2000, David Wilson was Teacher of the Year as voted on by Lincoln Faculty members.
- Florida Athletic Coaches Association (TACA) (currently represents about 5,800 coaches of high school and middle school boys and girls sports in the state of Florida)(this could have been placed in Section 6-civic) member from 1975-2005, Board of Directors from 1979-2005, District Football Chairman, misc years 1984-1988, David Wilson served on the Executive Committee
- 1987-88 He served as President of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association (FACA)
- 1988-Received the Presidents Award, FACA
- 1989-Received the Meritorious Service Award, FACA
- 1988-94 Coach Wilson served as State Football Chairman, he was_responsible for acquiring speakers and running the football portion of FACA clinics.
- 1996-Coach David Wilson was inducted into the FACA Hall of Fame
- Florida Hi ti li School Athletic Association (the governing body of all school athletics in Florida to include cheerleading, and both boys and girls sports) (previously the Florida High School Activities Association)
- 1987-88, Wilson served on the Board of Directors
- 1997-2005, Wilson served as a Member of the FHSAA Medical Advisory Committee (SMAC).
- 2009-Coach David Wilson was inducted into the FHSAA Hall Of Fame
Wilson received “Football Coach Of The Year Awards” from the following media outlets and organizations:
- 1978-Davtona Beach News Journal, Palatka Daily News, Tri County Conference, FACA District 4 1979-FACA District 4
- 1980-Tri County Conference
- 1984-Florida Times Union Jacksonville All Metro, FACA District 4, Clay Today Newspaper 1987-Clav Today Newspaper, Florida Star Conference
- 1989-Orange Park Rotary Club
- 1990-Florida Times Union, Florida Star Conference, Clay Today Newspaper
- 1993-Florida Head Coach of the Year (Selected by FACA & Orlando Sentinel) (Sponsored by the Florida Citrus Sports Council)
- 1996-Tallahassee Democrat
- 1999-Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee Quarterback Club
- 2000-Florida Dairy Farmers 6A State Coach of the Year 2001-Tallahassee Quarterback Club
- 2002-Tallahassee Quarterback Club
- Coach Wilson received “Weightlifting Coach Of The Year Award” from the following • 1994-Tallahassee Democrat
High School All Star Football Games (Coach David Wilson was selected to coach in the following High School All Star Football Games as listed below.)
- 1987, 1988,1989,1990 Florida vs Georgia High School All Star Game-Administrative Coach
- 1992 Florida vs Georgia High School All Star Game-Assistant Coach-wide receivers
- 1994 Florida vs Georgia High School All Star Game-Head Coach
- 1999 Head Coach CaliFlorida Bowl I, (California vs Florida HS All Stars) game 1 was played in the Rose Bowl, Pasadena CA
- 2001 Head Coach CaliFlorida Bowl III
- 2002 Head Coach CaliFlorida Bowl IV
- 2003 Head Coach CaliFlorida Bowl V
- 2004 Head Coach CaliFlorida Bowl VI, game 6 was played in the Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
- 2005 Head Coach CaliFlorida Bowl VII
- 2006 US Army All American Bowl-Nationwide High School All Star Game, East vs West All Stars- Assistant Coach, wide receivers, the game was played in the Alamodome, San Antonio TX.
- After the 2001 season. Coach Wilson and his Lincoln team received the Gatorade Trophy, recognizing them as the best high school football team in the state of Florida.
Below are a few of the reasons that David Wilson should be in the FVF Hall of Fame. Greater detail of his contributions to our country, our state, our veterans, and our youth can be found in previous sections.
David Wilson’s life has been one of leadership, service, high achievement, changing lives and making a positive difference in the lives of others. As an Eagle Scout, Captain of his HS Football team as a Junior and Senior, paying his way through college, or commanding his first Titan II crew, “a crew not notedfor its superiority, and in less than four months raised the level of crew proficiency to recognition as “Number One” line crew in the Wing, and selection as crew of the month” or leading his crew to victory in Olympic Arena 1974 and recognition as the Best Missile Combat Crew Commander in Strategic Air Command, President of the FACA, or as a Nationally recognized State Championship winning Head Football coach. He is a self-starter who has risen to the top through attention to detail, a focus on teamwork, and motivating others to do their best. Never afraid of hard work, he instilled it into his teams and those around him thru his example. He believes football teaches great life lessons. Get better every day! You can count on me! Never give up! Love each other! Do right! No excuses! These are not cliches to David Wilson; they are guideposts thru life, guideposts that he taught his football teams. Wilson believes that “Winning is an attitude!!!” One of his core teachings: “We control our attitude and effort.” “If they are bigger, faster, or stronger than us; they will not outhustle or play harder than us. We will be better conditioned, give greater effort, make fewer mistakes and we will win in the fourth quarter!” He believes that young people desire structure and discipline, want to please, and to be held accountable. And they will respond to discipline if they know you care. He constantly challenged them to do more than they thought they could and to be great! And they responded, winning many championships to include State Championships. Many have taken lessons learned from him and are better people and productive American citizens today. He changed many lives for the better. The ripple effect of his work with youth will pay forward for generations to come.
A passion for helping others, he believes service comes from availability. Whether organizing a free tryout camp to showcase HS football seniors, serving on the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee of the FHSAA, serving on the Florida Department of Education Committee for Coaching Certification, as a cancer survivor advocating early prostate screening, or his statewide service as the Point of Contact for the Wreaths Across America State House Ceremony. David Wilson makes himself available; he is a servant of the highest measure.
With coaching retirement and most of his coaching dreams fulfilled, his passion shifted to veterans of all generations and he serves in many veteran organizations. His inclusion of young people in the decoration of graves, locally and at Arlington, his work on the Veterans Day Parade, recognizing all veterans thru the State House Ceremony of Wreaths Across America are examples of his service to all generations of veterans.
For the “Greatest Generation” of veterans, his father’s WW2 generation, he continues to document their stories and record their diaries plus his memorialization of the service of 169 men and women on the National WW1I Memorial site is ongoing. He has documented the graves locally of men who died in Korea.
For his generation of Vietnam Veterans, he is doing his part to Recognize, Respect, and Honor his living brothers and sisters thru the ceremonial first pitches thrown out at local HS games. For Vietnam veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice, he studied and documented over 150 men from this area, tells their stories, says their names and leaves the “Hero Rock” during grave visitations for relatives to find. He has not forgotten those who Gave Some and he will Never Forget those who Gave All.
For the generation of his daughter and the Global War on Terrorism, those who gave all are forever remembered on the Bloxham Building “Wall of Remembrance.”
For the generation of his grandsons, he has served on Congressional Academy Nomination Panels and encourages and has encouraged young people to military service.
He has mapped the graves of local men who died during wartime and placed them in a booklet so future generations can decorate their graves. He invites Gold Star Families to events and publicly recognizes them.
He considered his football players as family and he considered veterans as his military brothers and sisters.
David Wilson achieved greatly in the Air Force and as a Head Football coach, he possesses a servant’s heart and is a tireless worker for Veterans causes and in all that he does. His achievements with the youth of our state have been recognized by his induction into the 1996 Florida Athletic Coaches Assn, and the 2009 Florida HS Athletic Assn. Halls of Fame. He is equally as worthy of induction into the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame.
In my years of nominating veterans for the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, I, John L Haynes, cannot recall a nominee that has positively and profoundly touched as many lives as this “All American Man,” Coach David Wilson. His reach extends far beyond the Florida state lines.
In view of the information contained in this nomination for Coach David Wilson and as a proud member of the Inaugural Florida Veterans Hall of Fame, Class of 2013,1, John L Haynes, am honored to nominate him for membership in the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. I will be honored to serve side by side with this distinguished military veteran and community servant. His record of service to our country, to the State of Florida, to Veterans, to the Youth of Florida and to his community is without peer. Based on his exemplary record of service and accomplishment in multiple domains, I give him my highest endorsement.