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Like father, like son, Connor Williams named CHS girls basketball coach

| Randy Dickson
Connor Williams is living proof of the old saying that an apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Connor is the son of longtime girls basketball coach Steve Williams, who recently left Crestview to rejoin Paxton and coach the Lady Bobcats.
Connor Williams was named head girls basketball coach at Crestview High School on Wednesday.

At 24, Connor already has an impressive resume coaching girls basketball having been the head coach at Central High School and headed an AAU program. Crestview High School principal Jay Sanders announced on Wednesday that Connor will succeed Steve as the head coach of the Lady Bulldogs.

Connor checks all the boxes Sanders was looking for in a girls basketball coach. He has a passion for the girls game and has already accumulated a wealth of experience. Most importantly, he isn’t looking to use the position as a steppingstone to a boys opening and he’s a man of integrity.

“For me it came down to a coach whose number one priority is the girls basketball program,” Sanders said. “I was also looking for coach that had girls head coaching experience.

“He’s a bright, energetic young coach. I’m excited to see where he takes our program.”

Williams couldn’t hide his excitement for getting the job.

“It feels really good to be at Crestview,” he said. “I’m just so pumped. This is my first rodeo in the big leagues with the big schools.”

Connor has developed his own coaching style with a blend of those he has worked with and been around.

“I like to be a run and gun kind of team,” he said. “I like for us to control the pace of the game both offensively and defensively. I feel like if you are the one to attack, rather than absorb the hit the other team give you, it gives you the upper hand.

“I think that’s a very similar philosophy to what my dad does and did. I think that’s why he found success here at Crestview because we have the right pieces (players) to do it and it’s going to find a lot of success here.”

Connor helped his father as a volunteer assistant and paid assistant for several years before embarking on his own head coaching career at Central. He had recently returned to the CHS staff and has worked with the team throughout the summer.

Not only is he familiar with the players he’ll be coaching, he also knows the ins and outs of Okaloosa County teams and most of the local opponents the Bulldog will be facing on the court.

Connor believes his youth is more beneficial than harmful as he takes over the Crestview program.

“I’m very big on tying life lessons into practice and team meetings,” he said. “I believe my perspective might be a little more relatable to them (the girls) and that helps them trust me because I get what they are kind of experiencing. It’s a little more relevant to my age.”

Connor played high school basketball at Paxton and was a student manager for his father with the Lady Bobcats. He was dual enrolled at Northwest Florida State College while in high school and graduated with his associate degree at the same time he graduated from high school.

He continued his education at the University of West Florida where he was a student manager on the Lady Argo basketball team adding to his wealth of basketball knowledge.

Only time will tell if Connor is able to accomplish the things Steve has in the coaching ranks. One thing that is certain is Connor embraces the challenge of following in his father’s steps while trying to make his own path.

“I want to instill that the legacy my dad started will live on (at Crestview),” Connor said. “He has a way about him of creating winning cultures. It’s defining what we represent on and off the basketball court.

“I want to keep the same culture and I want people that are going to buy into that and really continue what my dad started. I’ve been told that I have some big shoes to fill. In a way I want to fill those shoes, but I also want to create my own footprint here.”