The Thomson High School Athletic Booster Club will hold its annual banquet tomorrow night at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center. The guest speaker will be southern humorist and author Darrell Huckaby. Huckaby's day job is teaching at Heritage High School in Conyers.
This year's special honoree to be recognized for his contributions to Thomson High athletics is Coach Curtis Williams. Coach Williams is the varsity football secondary coach and assists with the track program. Coach Williams joined the Thomson staff in 1999 bringing with him 23 years of coaching experience.
Coach Williams, whose wife Joyce is the Superintendent of Schools in Wilkes County, graduated from Carver High School in Columbus, Ga. He earned his bachelor's degree at Albany State University and his master's degree at Valdosta State University. He made his athletic fame in high school on the basketball court and lettered in swimming at Albany State.
Coach Williams started his teaching and coaching career at Valdosta Junior High School in 1976, where he remained until 1981. It was here that he worked with famed Valdosta High defensive coordinator Jack Rudolph whom he considers to be his mentor in the coaching profession.
In 1981, he followed Coach Butch Brooks from the renowned staff at Valdosta High School to nearby Washington-Wilkes High School. He served as Coach Brooks' right-hand assistant and defensive coordinator for the Tigers for seventeen seasons.
According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website, Coach Brooks and Coach Williams led Washington-Wilkes to a record of 140-64 and four state runner-up finishes. Coach Williams remained on the Tiger staff of Coach Frank Vohun in 1998 before moving to Thomson.
Coach Williams cites the opportunity to coach with one of the best high school coaches in the state in Luther Welsh as his reason for coming to Thomson. Since joining him, he has assisted Coach Welsh to a record of 80-16 in Thomson.
He lists a big Washington-Wilkes' victory over Putnam County and Thomson's 2002 Class AAAA State Championship as the most memorable moments in his career.
Coach and Mrs. Williams are especially proud of their three grown children. They are Corey Williams, an MBA student at Clark Atlanta University, Natalie Williams, a teacher of special needs children in Clayton County, and Unique "Bobby" Johnson who resides in New York City.
A member of Jackson Chapel A.M.E. Church in Washington, Coach Williams is a member of the church's Board of Trustees and serves as the Sunday School Superintendent.
The Thomson High program has been very fortunate over the years to enjoy the services of many top flight and experienced coaches. Curtis Williams can definitely be put near the top of that list.
Bulldog student-athletes are privileged to have a man the caliber of Coach Williams guiding them.
The Booster Club will offer him well-deserved recognition for his efforts.