High School Coach
The list of Fred Williams' highlights as the Northwestern Regional High School girls' basketball coach is of great length, spanning 39 seasons. The list is also still growing, as Fred continues to coach.
At the conclusion of the 2016-17 season, Fred was 594-289 with 10 Berkshire League championships, the 1990 Class M state championship (capping a 26-0 season), a 49-game winning streak from 1989-91 and a Berkshire League winning streak of a remarkable 142 games from 1986-93. Fred has coached in the state tournament 32 times. He was named Region One Coach of the Year three years and therefore a finalist for National Coach of the Year each of those years. Fred was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches' Association Hall of Fame in 2013. He is coaching at his alma mater, having graduated from Northwestern in 1969, and has had the distinction of coaching all three of his daughters, all on the same team.
“Dealing with young adults has been my life,” said Fred, whose sweaters he wears to coach in have become his trademark. “Teaching for 35 years and now working at Northwestern for 43 years has allowed me to help our student-athletes to mature and grow into wonderful people. In turn, they will continue the process.”
Fred is a retired math teacher at Northwestern (1974-2009) and now the athletic director. He formerly coached the boys' soccer team to a record of 254-110-33 and seven Berkshire League titles over 23 seasons and the girls' soccer team to a 101-56-18 mark in 10 seasons, putting him on the path to nearly 1,000 combined victories. He won the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association's Merit Award in 2004 and, under him, the girls' basketball team has won 13 Berkshire League sportsmanship awards. He has also been coaching in the Connecticut Starters AAU program for 25 seasons.
Fred is a graduate of Northwestern Connecticut Community College and Central Connecticut State University. He was a self-described “horrible” basketball player in high school, leaning more toward soccer and baseball, which he played at NCCC, but he learned to love basketball, nonetheless. The 1993-94 season, in particular, when daughters Stacey, Christie and Lindsey all played for him, is among Fred's proudest moments – “it was truly awesome,” he said. Stacey, the former point guard, is now the junior varsity coach under her dad and Lindsey, a 1,000-point scorer during her high school career, is also an assistant coach for the Highlanders. Fred lives in Colebrook with his wife Donna, who has supported him through all his victories and also his losses. The couple has five grandchildren.
“My goal in basketball is to have all the players improve their game, work together, practice hard, but most important have fun,” said Fred, who added one piece of advice for those involved in the game. “… Whatever you do, put your total effort into it. Hard work will pay off in the end, maybe not a win, but a feeling that you gave it your all.”
Said daughter Lindsey of her father, during her playing career: “He's an incredible man who's not just a coach from 2-5 for practice and then goes home. He's sincere and knows every player personally. He'll always be my favorite coach, regardless that he's my father.”