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Doc Williams gave time, talents to athletes
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Editor, I was told today that I should read the Sound off column in the Coastal Courier. I will be glad to explain who Doc Williams was, as I knew him very well.
Richard “Dick” or “Doc” Williams moved to Hinesville in 1974, after completing his associate’s degree in medicine. He worked for several doctors in Hinesville over the years as a physician’s assistant. During this time he assisted with the physicals that are required for all athletes in high school. He also saw the need for medical attention at athletic events and he volunteered his services, first at Bradwell Institute. He worked with the football team, softball and many of the other teams long before there were any athletic trainers provided by medical services in the area. He was at home games, and drove all over the area to be there for the athletes at away functions.
He had to give up working with the teams when his job situation changed and he had to commute between Hinesville and Kings Bay Naval Base. In 1991, Liberty County High School opened and I started working there.
When Doc Williams said he wanted to go back to working with the high schools, I told him he would have to work with Liberty High. And he did. He worked with the players to make sure they were taken care of properly when they were hurt, and followed up with them to be sure they were following his instructions or the instructions of their doctors. He made sure they spent time in the whirlpool when they needed it; that they “walked it off” if they just got knocked around in a game so they wouldn’t feel stiff the next day. I remember that one of his favorite phrases he used with the student athletes was, “Put ice on it.” And I can remember the trays of little Dixie cups in the big freezer, waiting for him to pack them up in a cooler for the next sporting event. Even after the hospital-affiliated sports trainers started providing services to the high schools, Doc Williams continued to take care of the athletes at Liberty High School.
There was some time when he had to stop going to all of the sports events before he gave it up completely. That was when he fell off a stepladder at home and crushed the lower bones of his right leg. But he still rolled his wheelchair into the gym to watch and keep an eye on the basketball players.
I’m sorry that the person who called in to Sound off didn’t have the opportunity to meet or get to know Doc Williams. He was a terrific asset to our school, and many were sad when he died in 2003 of complications from thyroid cancer. And I’m proud to say that he was a kind, considerate, caring gentleman  — and my father.

Kay Williams
Media Specialist
Liberty County High School
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