Who was Joe Williams?
Joe Williams was a former basketball coach who led Jacksonville University to the NCAA Tournament championship game in 1970, where they faced UCLA’s dynasty led by John Wooden. Williams also coached at Furman and Florida State, and had a record of 336-231 over 22 seasons. He was inducted into the Jacksonville University Hall of Fame in 1994.
How did Joe Williams die?
Williams died on Saturday, March 27, 2022, at the age of 88. He was in hospice care in Enterprise, Mississippi, after a long battle with cancer, his son Joe Williams Jr. said.
What was his impact on basketball?
Williams was one of the first coaches in the South to recruit and integrate Black players into his teams, and he protected them from discrimination and hostility on the road, his son said. He also coached some of the best players in the history of the game, such as Artis Gilmore, who was the star of the 1970 Jacksonville team that scored more than 100 points 18 times in a season.
Williams was known for his passion, his innovation, and his compassion. He taught his players not only how to play basketball, but also how to be good people. He was respected and admired by his peers, his opponents, and his fans.
How will he be remembered?
Williams will be remembered as a pioneer, a leader, and a legend in the basketball world. He left behind a legacy of excellence, courage, and integrity. He inspired generations of players, coaches, and fans with his vision, his dedication, and his love for the game. He was a true gentleman and a role model for all. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten.