Former Furman head basketball coach passes away at 88

Published: Mar. 26, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Former Furman University Head Basketball coach Joe Williams passed away at his home in Mississippi at age 88.

Williams coached for eights years from 1971 to 1978. According to Furman, he was the most successful basketball coach in the university’s history leading the team to five Southern Conference Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament berths. The team also claimed three conference regular season titles.

He was inducted into Furman’s Athletics Hall of Fame with a 142-87 coaching record.

His 1973-1974 team went 12-0 in the Southern Conference regular season and 22-9 overall. The team claimed both league regular season and tournament titles, and defeated South Carolina, 75 - 67 in the NCAA Tournament play in Philadelphia, PA.

Williams came to Furman from Jacksonville University after leading the team to the 1970 NCAA national championship game. After Furman, Williams coached at Florida State from 1979 to 1986.

“Furman University mourns the passing of Joe Williams,” said director of athletics Jason Donnelly in a press release. “Joe was an iconic coach for Furman basketball and Greenville, S.C., who coached some of the greatest players and most successful teams in the Paladin athletics history. His accomplishments are legendary among Furman fans, and his successful legacy will always be remembered. We extend our thoughts and prayers to Joe’s family during this difficult time.”

Services for Williams will be held in Cocoa Beach, Fla.