George Williams refers to his 13-year tenure at Spencer as the best time of his life.
Well, that time is about to come to an end. Williams, the long-time boys basketball coach, is set to retire at the end of the school year.
Williams, who is fully-vested in the Georgia retirement system, has had coaching stints at Carver, Smiths Station and Eufaula during his 35-year career.
“I looked up and I got my 30 years in,” he said. “When you get to that point, it's usually time to retire. It's going to be a new transition for me.”
Williams said it's a relief to retire, but doesn't know if he'll feel the same way in October — the start of the 2008-2009 basketball season.
With his retirement set to begin in a couple of weeks, he has some things that he plans to do. He expects to spend more time with his three children, Pershin, Donovan and Asiha. Pershin is currently an assistant coach at United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. Donovan just graduated from Park University and wants to become a graduate assistant coach.
Williams also plans to continue to work on his golf game. He said he tries to play three or four times per week.
“I am getting better,” he said. “It's coming along.”
While he might struggle on the golf course, he didn't have a lot of struggles as a coach. He led Spencer to six playoff appearances. Williams guided the Greenwaves to the final four in 2006. Spencer lost in the semifinals to Westlake to finish the season 27-4. He went 195-151 at Spencer.
Williams also was an assistant coach on the 1978 Eufaula team that won the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 3A state championship.
The only disappointment during Williams' career as a head coach was that he didn't lead a team to the state championship. The 2006 team that won the Region 2-AAA tournament and the William Henry Shaw Christmas Tournament was the closest Williams got.
“We have had a lot of good teams,” Williams said. “The only thing missing was a state title. We accomplished just about everything else.”
The trademark of a Williams' team was defense. He would use a variety of defenses, but he liked to play man-to-man.
“He was always able to slow you down with his defense,” Jordan coach Gerald Turner said. “You would get into the flow of the game, and then George would change it up. He always knew when to make things happen with his defense.”
In addition to all the wins, Williams said he was most proud of helping his players sign a scholarship. He had 22 players do that while at Spencer.
Spencer is likely going to have a different look next season as Williams won't be on the sideline.
“It's hard to imagine them without George,” Turner said. “If it's an offensive-minded coach, it will be a 180-degree change. If it's an understudy, it could be similar.”