1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Hamilton, Hawks, Browning, Kirby, Canon, Hall, Gordon, Dearing

Senate Resolution 60


WHEREAS, Richard Williams, the winningest coach in Mississippi State University basketball history, has recently announced his retirement, two years after taking the MSU Bulldogs to the NCAA Final Four; and

WHEREAS, Richard Williams retires with a 191-63 record in 12 years at the head of the Bulldog program, surpassing former Mississippi State legend Babe McCarthy's 169 victories in 1996; and

WHEREAS, what began a dozen years ago with an energetic 1967 Mississippi State University graduate taking the reins of a basketball program badly in need of a new direction has now evolved into one of college basketball's newest success stories; and

WHEREAS, prior to Williams' arrival as the school's 17th head basketball coach, the MSU Bulldogs had gone through five different head coaches during the previous 20 years and had made just two postseason tournament appearances in the first 74 years of basketball competition at the school; and

WHEREAS, in sharp contrast, Williams has since managed to more than triple Mississippi State's total number of postseason berths by taking his teams to three NCAA Tournaments (1996, 1995 and 1991) and a pair of National Invitation Tournaments (1994 and 1990), all within the first eight years of the current decade; and

WHEREAS, along with enriching the heritage of his alma mater with postseason appearances, championship teams and national media exposure, Richard Williams has also been instrumental in the lives of his student-athletes, who have enhanced Mississippi State University's reputation on the court, in the classroom, and in their post-collegiate careers; and

WHEREAS, over the past 12 seasons, eight Mississippi State University standouts have garnered at total of 16 All-SEC honors under Williams' tutelage; and

WHEREAS, Richard Williams received many coaching honors throughout his career, including SEC Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1995, and AP National Coach of the Year Top 10 Finalist in 1991 and 1995; and

WHEREAS, for his comprehensive contributions to Mississippi State University, Richard Williams was honored as the 1995 Alumnus of the Year by MSU's College of Education; and

WHEREAS, Williams' impressive and productive career has included 31 years of coaching at virtually every level of competition solely within the State of Mississippi, including Head Basketball Coach at Montebello Junior High School in Natchez, Mississippi (1967-1968); Head Basketball Coach at St. Andrew's Episcopal Junior High School in Jackson, Mississippi (1968-1970); Assistant Basketball Coach at South Natchez High School in Natchez, Mississippi (1970-1972); Head Basketball Coach at South Natchez High School in Natchez, Mississippi (1972-1978); Head Basketball Coach at Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson, Mississippi (1978-1984); Assistant Basketball Coach at Mississippi State University (1984-1986); and Head Basketball Coach at Mississippi State University (1986-1998); and

WHEREAS, during his five-year tenure at Copiah-Lincoln Junior College (1979-1984), Richard Williams enjoyed tremendous success averaging 18 wins per season and garnering NJCAA Region 23 and Mississippi Junior College Coach of the Year laurels after leading his 1982-1983 Co-Lin Club to the Region 23 Championship and a berth in the NJCAA Tournament; and

WHEREAS, the son of the late Richard T. Williams of Morton, Mississippi and Ruth Sager Williams of Sioux City, Iowa, Richard Williams was born on August 22, 1945, in Oceanside, California, while his father was serving a tour of duty with the United States Marine Corps; and

WHEREAS, Richard Williams lettered in both basketball and baseball during his prep playing days at Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi, graduating from Pearl High School in 1963, and thereafter, earning degrees from Mississippi State University in 1967 and Mississippi College in 1970; and

WHEREAS, Richard Williams is married to the former Diane McEwen of Summit, Mississippi, and enjoys reading historical novels during his spare time:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend Richard Williams upon his retirement as Mississippi State University Basketball Coach and wish him continued success in his future endeavors.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to Richard Williams and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.