Haralson County girls coach Jane Williamson had been retired for nine years, though she never got completely away from basketball, working with the Georgia AAU programs and sitting on the organization’s executive board.
Her knowledge of the game and her ability to teach it weren’t in question, so when HCHS athletic director Lisa Warren had an opening for a girls basketball coach, it must’ve seemed a no-brainer to call Williamson.
“They asked me if I’d take the job and kind of caught me unaware,” Williamson said.
This is her third stint at Haralson County, where she won state championships in 1973 and 1975, and her career also included stops on the collegiate level at West Georgia and Valdosta State.
Her legacy is secure – she can rattle off 15 of her former players who went on to be coaches without having to take a breath – and her list of accomplishments is impressive.
So what prompted the veteran coach to pick up the whistle again?
“I’m trying to think about that myself,” Williamson said. “I thought if you had two arms and two legs, you could be coached.”
The sledding has been difficult so far – the Rebelettes won their first game but have lost four straight since then – only showing that the addition of a legendary coach is no guarantee of instant success. Haralson still has a half-dozen games left before opening its region schedule, and Region 6-AAA is rife with talent. The Rebelettes’ last state tournament appearance was in 2006, and this year seems a longshot, though if she can get a group of five sophomores to gel by February, who knows?
St. Pius rolling: The Lady Golden Lions are off to a 3-0 start, with wins over a pair of Texas Catholic schools and Tuesday night’s 63-17 win over Westminster. St. Pius didn’t lose to a Georgia AAA school until the quarterfinals last season, and with nine seniors they figure to make another deep run in the playoffs.