February 26, 2019

MULLINS, S.C. – John Williams is Mullins High School’s first black head coach for the varsity football team.

The 56-year-old has served more than 30 years in the Marion County education system and coaching. In 2018, he experienced his best regular season, going 8-2 and reaching the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.

The South Carolina Football Coaches Association’s Lower State Coach of the Year has 33 wins in his seven seasons as the Auctioneers’ coach. He played football at his alma mater, South Carolina State University.

Here are some of the thoughts he shared when he was interviewed for part of the Morning News’ “Faces of February” series honoring African-Americans in the Pee Dee:

“It means a lot, because more black coaches can come behind me, and I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be doing this,” he said. “We really learned about our culture and history at South Carolina State. That’s where I learned about my heritage.”

On the experience with his players this past season:

“It took perseverance. My kids knew I had some health problems and they stuck with me. They know I love them. The first thing is we are a family. They were there with me and did everything I could ask them to do.”