The name of Chillicothe Football Coach Phil Willard has been selected as a character in author Tim Green’s next book, “The Big Game.”
The name of Chillicothe Football Coach Phil Willard has been selected as a character in author Tim Green’s next book, “The Big Game.” Willard will be the football coach in the book, a middle grade sports novel scheduled to be out in fall 2018. Green, a former NFL player and best-selling author, announced on his Facebook page that he needed a name for another character in the book. He launched a contest and invited people to reply to his post with name suggestions. The contest closed Sunday night and on Monday, Green announced Willard as the winning name. Willard will now become the second Chillicothean whose name has been chosen for one of Green’s books. The name of the late Dave Kinen, who was a popular wrestling coach and physical education teacher in Chillicothe, was selected in 2015 for inclusion in Green’s book, Full Ride. When the character name contest was announced for Full Ride, Green was seeking names who would be a football teammates of the main character, Derek Holton. However, after Kinen was selected for the book, Green launched a related online contest asking the citizens of Chillicothe to decide whether Kinen’s name should be used as the coach’s name in the book or a player’s name. Voters were nearly unanimous in their preference: 463 votes were cast for Kinen as a coach and just six as a player. Coincidently, Green met Willard’s wife, Debbie, during a visit to Chillicothe schools several years ago. Willard is the library media specialist with Central School.