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WALTER SAM WILLIAMS Sam Williams passed away Monday, October 15, 2012 at Doctors Hospital of Renaissance in McAllen. At the age of 88, the legendary coach known as the "Father of Broncs Basketball" died of natural causes. Endless articles are available heralding his achievements, honors and awards at the University of Texas–Pan American. Just as amazing is the story of a teenager sweeping the basketball gym for his meager spending money in Daingerfield, Texas where he was born on June 29, 1924. The young Sam played Varsity as well as coached the Jr. Varsity team. That was the simple beginning of his lifetime career. Returning from service in the Army Air Corps and college bound on a basketball scholarship, Sam married his sweetheart Corinne Wright in 1947. He and Co, as he called her, began a partnership that could withstand any adversity they faced with the exception of her death in 2003. The couple began the 1950s with a formidable move from East Texas to the Valley to accept a coaching/teaching position in Donna. Along with total support of his education and career, Co had given Sam a son David and daughter Tessa was on the way. The next step was McAllen High School where assistant principal duties were added to his resume. Under the guidance of Coach Williams, the McHi Bulldogs won two consecutive District Championships in 1956-57. His proven success and winning ways drew the attention of what was then Pan American College, and in 1958 Sam took over as head coach of the Broncs. As an educator, father, friend, colleague or acquaintance, this coach touched so many lives along the way in addition to those of his players. Sam Williams was named NAIA National Men's Basketball Coach of the Year in 1964 after leading his squad to win the NAIA National Championship in1963, became a member of both the Rio Grande Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the UTPA Athletics Hall of Fame, was honored as UTPA Head Coach Emeritus and today the Broncs' court bears his name. He should also be honored in his absence as a good man who demonstrated his faith in others by helping them become the best they could be. Sam is survived by his son David and fiancé Deyanira Adames of McAllen; daughter Tessa Webb and husband Larry of Colorado City, TX; grandson Ian Heath, wife Allison and four great-grandchildren of Odessa, TX; Casey Webb, wife Maria and one great-grandchild of Uffington, England; Stacey Doss, husband Robert and four great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren of Midlothian, TX. Gathering will be Friday October 26, 2012 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kreidler Funeral Home. Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday October 27, 2012 at Kreidler Funeral Home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sam Williams Endowed Scholarship fund at 1201 W. University, ITT Bldg 1.20, Edinburg, TX 78539. Kreidlerfuneralhome.com Sign the guest book at www.themonitor.com/obituaries
Published in The Monitor on Oct. 25, 2012
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