How did Joe Williams Die: Joe Williams, who trained Jacksonville’s men’s basketball team to the NCAA championship game in 1970, died at the age of 88.
Joe Williams, who led Artis Gilmore and Jacksonville University to the NCAA Tournament championship game against mighty UCLA in 1970, died on Saturday. He was 88 years old.
Who was Joe Williams
How did Joe Williams Die: Mr. Williams, who also coached at Furman and Florida State, died in hospice care in Enterprise, Miss., after a long battle with cancer, according to his son Joe Williams Jr.
The Dolphins were a true Cinderella team in the history of the NCAA Tournament. They beat Western Kentucky, Iowa, Kentucky, and St. Bonaventure on their way to the championship game, despite being unranked at the start of the season and led by the 7-foot-2 Mr. Gilmore. That season, they scored more than 100 points 18 times, including three times in a tournament.
In the championship game, they faced a Bruins team that was in the midst of coach John Wooden’s dynasty. UCLA won its fourth consecutive national championship, and sixth in seven years, with an 80-69 victory.
When Mr. Williams took over the Jacksonville program in 1964, he was an assistant coach at Furman, and the school played in the NAIA for one more season before moving to the NCAA, where it rapidly rose to prominence.
Mr. Gilmore spent his first two junior college seasons before signing with Mr. Williams and Jacksonville.
Mr. Williams was willing to hire Black players to Southern colleges when many coaches were still unwilling to do so, and he protected them on the road in hostile environments, according to his son.
“He was among the first coaches in the South to do so.” “When Dad traveled with the team, if a restaurant wouldn’t let the whole team eat together, Dad just crowded the whole team up and they went to a hotel where they could,” Joe Williams Jr. explained.
“Dad was never one to get on a soapbox and preach about things like that; he just always did the right thing.” He had to go through a lot. He received death threats in the mail. But he had only recently realized that all of his players were equal and that he wanted to treat them as such. It was all about teaching his players how to be good people.”
Mr. Williams, the son, and brother of Methodist ministers got into coaching by chance, according to his son. He was a junior high school English teacher in Jacksonville when someone noticed the tall guy in the hallways and asked if he wanted to help coach.
“He realized that was his passion and that’s what he wanted to do,” said Joe Williams Jr.
After the title game, Mr. Williams returned to Furman, where he coached until 1978 before moving on to Florida State. Over 22 seasons, he had a record of 336-231 and was inducted into the Jacksonville University Hall of Fame in 1994.
Williams Cause of death
How did Joe Williams Die: Joe Williams, who led Artis Gilmore and Jacksonville University to the NCAA Tournament championship game against mighty UCLA in 1970, died on Saturday. He was 88 years old.
Williams, who also coached at Furman and Florida State, died in hospice care in Enterprise, Mississippi, after a long battle with cancer, according to his son Joe Williams Jr.
Furman Basketball Coaching Great Joe Williams Passes Away https://t.co/uDNxD4gVJr
— Furman Paladins (@FurmanPaladins) March 26, 2022
— Jim Vertuno (@JimVertuno) March 27, 2022
— Jacksonville Dolphins 🐬 (@JAX_Dolphins) March 26, 2022
— Greg Sisk (@GregSisk1) March 26, 2022
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