Terry Williams retires as West Salem coach

Terry Williams retires as West Salem coach

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Terry Williams retires as West Salem coach

A previous version of this story incorrectly described the previous coaching situation at West Salem High School.

When Terry Williams was hired as head girls basketball coach at West Salem High School in 2014, he was given a mandate that was more important than wins and losses.

West Salem head coach Terry Williams watches his team play in the West Salem vs. South Salem girl's basketball game at South Salem High School on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. South Salem won the game 62-45.

West Salem head coach Terry Williams watches his team play in the West Salem vs. South Salem girl’s basketball game at South Salem High School on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. South Salem won the game 62-45.

The administration that hired him gave him the task of changing the culture of the program and to bring back respectability following a turbulent period,

As Williams retires from coaching after three years in the position, he is secure in the knowledge that he’s accomplished that and more.

“It wasn’t hard to bring that back to the program, and I think we did establish that,” Williams said. “Believe me, the future is very, very, very bright. People thought we had a good team this year. There’s some great players coming through.”

In his three years at West Salem, Williams’ teams were 46-28,  reached the state playoffs all three years and were second place in the Greater Valley Conference this season, going 18-8 overall.

MORE RETIREMENTS:: South Salem’s McWilliams retires | Blanchet’s Cantonwine retires 

Williams insists his latest retirement from coaching isn’t a big deal, but that discounts his impact in more than just coaching the X’s and O’s of basketball.

“You know, I just seem to fill in,” he said.

West Salem was the first high school head coaching position for Williams, but he was well known in the basketball community in Salem long before that.

He was a prominent figure as a coach of youth basketball in town dating back to the 1980s and coached Corban’s women’s basketball team for two stints – adding up to 240 wins – before retiring from that position in 2013.

During his time at West Salem, Williams has dealt with the same health issues, a devastating immune system disease, that forced him to retire from Corban.

“I retired from Corban four years ago, and I had kind of semi-retired two years before that,” Williams said. “My health is really not really good at all. I felt like I was just trying to help (former West Salem athletic director) Bryan Sutherland and West Salem High.

“My heath, certainly, is not any better. To me other people are in place. We have a terrific coaching staff, and they can carry the torch just fine.”

The head girls basketball position has been posted and athletic director Bill Wittman said he expects to interview applicants for it in mid-April.

bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com or Twitter.com/bpoehler

West Salem head coach Terry Williams talks to his team during the first half of the Central Catholic vs. West Salem girl's basketball game, in the first round of the OSAA State Championships playoffs, at West Salem High School on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. West Salem won the gam 53-46. They will play South Salem in Round 2 of the OSAA State Championships playoffs on March 4.

West Salem head coach Terry Williams talks to his team during the first half of the Central Catholic vs. West Salem girl’s basketball game, in the first round of the OSAA State Championships playoffs, at West Salem High School on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. West Salem won the gam 53-46. They will play South Salem in Round 2 of the OSAA State Championships playoffs on March 4.

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