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For the week of May 16 through May 22, 2001

Tennis coach Williams to step down

After 19 years at helm

"Iím not going away. But itís time for some new blood."

Thatís what Wood River High School tennis coach Nancy Williams said Monday as she prepared to take the Wolverines to the State Class B tennis tournament in Boise.

Earlier this month, Williams informed Wood River athletic director Charley Miller that she has decided to step down after 19 years building one of the most successful racquet programs in the state of Idaho.

"Iím so proud of the kids over the years and the great record theyíve had for Wood River," she said.

Starting as tennis coach in 1982, Williams coached Wood River to seven district team championships and three state titlesóin 1982, 1986 and 1988.

Her individual state winners were two girlsí doubles teams, Adele Allender and Anise Morrow in 1982, and Marianne Moore and Ann Ferries in 1986, and two boysí singles players, John Jacoby in 1986, and John Driscoll in 1989 and 1990.

Winning is important, but itís not the only thing for coach Williams. "I canít tell you how much Iíve learned and how much the kids have given me. Itís been such a tremendous part of my life," she said.

Although her support of Wolverine players is a constant source of strength, the thing that sets Williams apart as a coach is her generosity toward other teams and players.

She said, "Itís very exciting, how the level of tennis has gone up so much in our district."

Spanish teacher Williams, a 26-year Blaine County School District teacher, is chairman of the foreign language department at Wood River. She plans to continue in those dutiesóand play some more tennis.

She has mixed feelings about retiring as coach. "On the one hand, I canít stop doing it and on the other hand, I have to," said Williams, who informed her players this week.

"But now, at least I can go to a district meet and watch a whole match for a change!"

Williams has one son, 31-year-old Jed Smith, a Wood River High School graduate who is living in Kauai where he makes furniture and works as a fireman.




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