Inspirational football coach resigns

greenville.1121

Jeremy Williams (right) is embraced by now-UGA offensive lineman Kenarious Gates (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Jeremy Williams, who has inspired many with his attitude toward the terminal diagnosis of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, has resigned as head football coach and athletics director at Greenville High School.

Williams is the subject of a new film documentary called “Season of a Lifetime” and also was featured on last year’s season-ending episode of ABC-TV’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” with his family. Greenville is a Class A school located 60 miles southwest of Atlanta.

“Jeremy thought he could coach this year, but he’s having a lot of breathing issues — I think he probably realized that there was no way he could stay out there on the field with the kids in this kind of heat,” Carol Lane, superintendent of Meriwether County schools, told the AJC.

“I told Jeremy he’s still part of our family and can come to Greenville High School anytime he wanted to because those kids are his life. It’s bittersweet for us, and I know it was a tough decision for Jeremy and his family. We certainly understand his decision, and we know that he wanted to do what was best for his family and his players.”

Williams met with his team to inform them of the decision to step down as coach. He had actually resigned as athletics director before the end of the school year. One of the current assistants will likely be named as the interim coach, according to Lane.

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90 comments Add your comment

Paddy

July 9th, 2011
5:22 pm

I know we all will keep him in our prayers.

Gwinnett Coach

July 9th, 2011
5:23 pm

Far and away, the best series I’ve ever read in the AJC. Unfortunately, this appears to be one of the final chapters. Praying for you, Jeremy.

Lakedawg

July 9th, 2011
5:39 pm

Terrrible disease and no answer to it after 30 years of diagnosing it.

1eyedJack

July 9th, 2011
5:49 pm

A profile in courage.

Fan of the Game

July 9th, 2011
5:52 pm

What a great man and inspiration! Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. Greenville High School has been blessed with an unbelievable Coach.

42-34 Dawgs All Year Long

July 9th, 2011
6:00 pm

What an amazing man, Coach Williams you will always be in our prayers. Godspeed!

Greg

July 9th, 2011
6:08 pm

Praying for you coach! Glad you know the Lord!

G'Vegas Dawg

July 9th, 2011
6:17 pm

If every person were made in the mold of Coach Williams, this world would be a much better place! What an amazing man!!

Howard

July 9th, 2011
7:16 pm

Hated to read this…knew the day would finally come when this brave young Christian man would have to step aside. He is a true hero to so many folks…ironic that this good man is dying from this horrible disease yet an avowed atheist-scientist like Stephen Hawking, while wheelchair bound, has survived it.

Hubie Green

July 9th, 2011
7:26 pm

He has inspired so many people with his courage, dignity, determination, attitude, and spirit. Thank you for all that you have done. God bless your family and you.

Howard you're an idiot

July 9th, 2011
7:50 pm

I repeat… Howard you’re an idiot!

Poopdawg

July 9th, 2011
8:01 pm

We should all be thankful for all we have. Coach Williams has lived his life the right way with a humble heart. God bless the Greenville community.

RomeDawg

July 9th, 2011
8:23 pm

I am thankful for the opportunity I have been blessed with to read the series of articles on Coach Williams. Is there a more inspirational story? God Bless Coach Williams and family. God puts some people here to teach us all about life.

randy patterson

July 9th, 2011
8:47 pm

darrin hancock and it is not even close, 32 years coaching in georgia and i have seen all the slam dunkers since it was legalized in the late 70s. he was a man child as a sophomore and brought a packed tech coliseum to a frenzy on several occasions in the state championship game . who rock who rock , hancock

randy patterson

July 9th, 2011
8:48 pm

Enter your comments here

tech fan

July 9th, 2011
9:00 pm

coach williams can use my truck with air to sit on the field with his kids. ill pay for it all

tech fan

July 9th, 2011
9:10 pm

give us one more year coach

Paul in RDU

July 9th, 2011
9:11 pm

Great story about Coach Williams. Good luck to him as he continues his difficult journey.

Here’s another story of a profile in courage in HS sports

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/07/09/1331675/a-kings-return.html

dawgerbrown

July 9th, 2011
9:13 pm

What an inspiration this man is. He has touched so many lives. Lives of people that he’s never met. So sad to see that his career is coming to an end. God bless him and his family.

Thoroughbred

July 9th, 2011
9:17 pm

bama who?

July 9th, 2011
10:30 pm

Sad to see this news. what an inspiration for all walks of life. To fight to stay in the game of life is difficult enough even without illness. Thank you Jeremy Williams for taking life by the horns and not letting anything slow you down. You have affected so many lives of people and some you may never know. Keep coaching the game of life to your kids as you are the best example of what a father should be on and off the field. God bless.

Dawginit

July 9th, 2011
10:57 pm

We’ll all still praying for you coach. Keep up the fight.

Brian Asselstine

July 9th, 2011
11:02 pm

This is one of the finest men that this state has ever had as a high school coach. God bless him and his family.

RedandBlackDAWG

July 9th, 2011
11:45 pm

He is an inspiration and has been an inspiration to a lot of young men and has no doubt helped a lot of them, in difficult times in thier lives as well. What an unselfish human being.
Dedicate the season at that school, to a wonderful inspiration to not only his school, but human beings everywhere.
God Bless You Coach

MBC# 1 fan

July 10th, 2011
1:18 am

Powerful! My God bless and keep you.

Thank you Coach Williams

July 10th, 2011
6:39 am

Thank you Coach Williams for a real lesson in life. Makes the banter about recruiting, coaches’ futures and your team vs. mine, seem really trivial. Good luck to everyone in Greenville.

JAWJeRDAWG

July 10th, 2011
7:00 am

May God bless you in the afterlife, Jeremy Williams, as He has others through your life here on earth. Continued prayers to you, your family, and all that know and love you.

And may God uphold you with the ongoing strength you’ll need as you continue to battle this disease. Best wishes, and God bless.

Paddy

July 10th, 2011
7:12 am

HOWARD….YOU SIR , SHOULD BE HORSE WHIPPED! Coach Williams is a great man and God loves all of his creations!

Fan of the Game

July 10th, 2011
8:45 am

I have always said that all rising 9th graders should have to watch the first 15 minutes of the movie Saving Private Ryan and now I just wish all these freeloaders, welfare abusers and anybody else that just tries to beat the system should have the pleasure of meeting and listening to Coach Williams talk about life and what is expected from every human being. Man this world would be a better place. Coach Williams is a true leader!

Paul N Destin

July 10th, 2011
9:37 am

Coach Williams…Elite. You sir got it right!

TROTTINGHOME

July 10th, 2011
9:38 am

To many sobbers and losers commenting on this article…your empathy is hollow.

RedandBlackDAWG

July 10th, 2011
9:58 am

If you don’t feed a fire, it will die away,

If you don’t know what the term means, “troll” refers to an online personality that uses his/her anonymity to “bait” users or turn valid discussions into full-blown arguments.

EXAMPLE BELOW:
TROTTINGHOME

July 10th, 2011
9:38 am
To many sobbers and losers commenting on this article…your empathy is hollow.

Paddy

July 10th, 2011
10:40 am

TROTTINGHOME……..How else but by the written word can we express our feelings for coach???? My empathy is genuine and I dare you to prove otherwise. What a MAROON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You should “trot home” and stay there and just shut your pie hole! Your kind are not welcome here!

Fan of the Game

July 10th, 2011
11:21 am

Trottinghome – I can see why you trott, you probably have never hustled a day in your life. Sorry for comment, but who are you to judge people?

Michael

July 10th, 2011
12:49 pm

Like us all, I’ve been following this coaches’ story since the first article. All of his players will leave high school as better people because of the loving experience they have all shared with their coach! The players are all very lucky…and that’s the beauty of the situation!!

Howard

July 10th, 2011
2:33 pm

Wow…an idiot and horse-whipped?? nice guys. From the first one I can understand…maybe he didn’t like my Hawking reference…but the second one?? I have admired Coach Williams ever since this started. I said nothing bad about this brave man. So either re-read it or whatever. I don’t normally answer postings and do back and forth repartes with people…got better things to do with my time. But believe me, Coach Williams is one of the bravest people in this country…I hope he makes it.

Paddy

July 10th, 2011
2:53 pm

Howard….next time think before you post about such a sensitive subject. Peoples emotions are at skin level on this subject and it does not take much to set us off. I believe your feeling for coach are honest.

Worm

July 10th, 2011
6:37 pm

Good luck Coach..You are an inspiration and true hero!

Workingtocure ALS

July 11th, 2011
8:58 am

Don’t stand on the sidelines in this fight. Support research to cure ALS. http://www.alscenter.org

zincc

July 11th, 2011
9:21 am

One OUTSTANDING man! God bless him, keeping the family in our prayers.

Podes

July 11th, 2011
11:24 am

What a HERO to so many young men……never give up, no matter what the situation!!! I lost someone very near and dear to my heart about 2 years ago. She went from being able to keep up and babysit her grandchildren to not being able to even hold them anymore to this horrible disease. My heart goes out to your family. He has touched so many people’s lives. I will continue to keep the family in my thoughts and prayers!!!

Kat

July 11th, 2011
12:38 pm

An inspirational story to us all. I do hope (if they haven’t already) name the school’s stadium/field after him now in appreciation for his years of dedication.

ATHUR

July 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY KEEP HIM CLOSE

Mel

July 11th, 2011
1:36 pm

Howard, you won’t find a single person on this board that will disagree with you about Coach Williams. But when you follow it up with something as hateful and insensitive as saying someone else should die for their beliefs, you should be prepared for the response you get.

Thanks to AJC for this story. Coach Williams is a class act. Many good thoughts to him and his family. We should all learn from his example.

K Poole

July 11th, 2011
1:38 pm

I have had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy on several occasions. I am very familiar with what he is going through and I ask that all of you keep him and his family in your prayers. I cry everytime I see a story about him and the lives he has touched. What a stand up guy. God bless you Jeremy.

Becky

July 11th, 2011
1:41 pm

Best wishes for Coach Williams and his family..

@tech fan..love your post..

MsMo

July 11th, 2011
2:32 pm

Coach Williams a truly outstanding man!!! A coach to some,father to others,mentor & motivator to all!!! May God continue to bless you and your family. I pray that God will give you & your family all the strength to endure this race and run on!

Meems

July 11th, 2011
9:22 pm

Do you want to see a real Christian, a great role model??? Do you want to see a real life hero??? Then, look no further than Coach Jeremy Williams!! We are keeping you and your family in our prayers, Coach Williams….

Leading Off: All-Stars and No-Shows

July 12th, 2011
10:47 pm

[...] Williams, who was coaching the Greenville (Ga.) High School football team, while battling A.L.S. has decided to retire. His story of leading his team through a triumphant 2009 season has inspired a [...]