But after leading the Lady Warriors to their first region championship, and their first state semifinal appearance in 46 years, Williams came to the conclusion that coaching basketball was eating way too much of his time.
Williams, the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Girls Basketball Coach of the Year, announced recently that he would be stepping down as North Cobb’s coach, saying it was time for extra family time with his wife, Darby, and daughters Abigail, 10, and Avery, 3.
“I got two young daughters, one that just turned 10 and one about to turn 4, and I felt I have missed most of their life,” Williams said. “I just want to make more of a commitment to my family and spend more time with my wife. I’ve been coaching at North Cobb 14 years and coached three sports 11 of them. It’s something me and my wife had a discussion about. I don’t want to be the father who misses a lot of his daughters’ events.”
Although he has given up the basketball duties, Williams will still remain the physical education department head, athletic coordinator, girls golf coach and an assistant with the softball program. He said it would be less time-consuming helping out with softball and golf because the sports don’t overlap.
Two years after succeeding Dennis Attaway prior to the 2005-06 campaign, Williams led the Lady Warriors back to the playoffs for the first time since their last semifinal appearance in 1967.
And the Lady Warriors have returned every year since.
North Cobb made back-to-back quarterfinal appearances in 2011 and ’12 before making the final four this season.
Now the basketball team will have to keep growing without Williams. The offseason will have its challenges, with the program needing to replace its coach and four senior starters, but Williams said the talent pool remains strong.
“I was shocked, but when he told us the reason, I understood, and I respect him for that,” said point guard Kyrie’ Chandler, who will be a junior next season. “It won’t be the same. Williams has that special connection with the players, but I think we will bounce back.”
Three of North Cobb’s four graduating seniors will be playing in college with Amber Reeves going to UNC Wilmington, Sierra Barrino to Georgia Southwestern and Jordan Gray to Gadsden State.
Former standouts who were part of North Cobb’s six straight playoff appearances under Williams included Jasmine Blain (Georgia Tech), Jarae Savage (UNC Greensboro) and Maggie Trimble (Berry).
“We have gotten a better influx of talent now than we had (before I started),” Williams said. “That’s one reason we’ve been so competitive. The administration will do a good job hiring. There is good talent coming back, and (the team) will be fine.”