(This is part of the AJC’s “30 in 30″ series — with quick hits on top high school football teams across the metro area and state during spring football practice. We’re doing 30 football teams in 30 days. What about spring sports? Click here)
Smith is head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, which honored Williams earlier this year as one of the NFL team’s High School Coaches of the Week.
Williams has inspired many with his attitude toward his terminal illness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. He led Greenville High School to an 11-1 record this past season, with the Patriots losing in the second round to the eventual Class A champions.
“It’s such a great story, the success they had as a football team,” Smith told the AJC recently. “But I also think probably the big story is the fight and will in Coach Jeremy Williams. He has got a really tough battle and such a great outlook on it. [Despite, the illness, he is] out there coaching those guys every single day.”
“I think it is a great story, not only about the community and high school, but also Jeremy as an outstanding man.”
Williams will be the star of an episode of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” that is schedule to air on ABC-TV on May 16. Williams had his house leveled and new one built to accomdate his health issues, along with those of his son, Jacob, who was born with spina bifida. The TV show also remodeled the fieldhouse at Greenville High School in late February.
Team: Greenville Patriots
Spring Game: None
Spring practice dates: May 3-16
Last year’s record: 11-1
Starters lost: 9
Follow the Jeremy Williams series in its entirety (click on each link):