Northwest Whitfield's Bob Williams dies after cancer battle

Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / Bob Williams, Northwest Whitfield's girls' basketball coach since the 2018-19 school year, died Thursday, two years after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.
Staff file photo by Matt Hamilton / Bob Williams, Northwest Whitfield's girls' basketball coach since the 2018-19 school year, died Thursday, two years after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.

Bob Williams, Northwest Whitfield High School's head coach for girls' basketball since 2018, died Thursday after a two-year battle with cancer.

The Lady Bruins reached the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs in each of Williams’ five seasons, advancing to the state quarterfinals the past two seasons.

The school broke the news on Twitter with a statement:

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that Bruin Nation has lost one of its own. Coach Bob Williams, head basketball coach of our Lady Bruins, passed away today. Words cannot express how much he meant to our students, our faculty, and our community.

“He had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many people and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. Northwest High School was truly blessed that he was a part of all of our lives. We will love and miss you always, Coach Williams.”

Prior to taking the job in Tunnel Hill, Williams was the boys’ basketball coach at Walker Valley.

The Lady Bruins won the Region 7-AAAA title this past season despite having a young team, and after they beat highly regarded Westminster 56-54 in the second round of state, Williams expressed his pride in their approach to the court.

"I'm so proud of them. I told them after the game, 'One thing I love about you guys is you're not scared of anybody,'" Williams said.

At the Best of Preps banquet in June 2022, the Times Free Press honored Williams with the Bobby Davis Award for Heart and Desire in recognition of his perseverance to coach even as he was treated for Stage 4 cancer.

Contact Lindsey Young at lyoung@timesfreepress.com.

  photo  Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Times Free Press staff writer David Paschall, left, shakes hands with Northwest Whitfield girls' basketball coach Bob Williams as he accepts the Bobby Davis Award for Heart and Desire on June 8, 2022, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.