Chandler’s dynasty program will persevere through the rest of this season that will now be called field and track.
The high school track giant lost a huge part on Wednesday when Ted Williams, the throwers coach for 21 years, died from cardiac arrest associated with health issues. Williams, who has been helping coach with Eric Richardson for the last 30 years total (the last 21 at Chandler), was 59 years old
“We’re dedicating it to field and track,” Richardson said of the remainder of the season. “He always said we had it backwards. So we’re flipping it.”
Williams was a huge part of the Chandler boys and girls field events for two decades. In 2012, Chandler’s girls throwers went 1, 2 and 3 at state in the shot put as it was wrapping up another team state championship.
Chandler has won 11 girls state championships since the 2006 season.
“It’s a big loss for our program,” Richardson, the head girls track coach, said.
Stephen Carson, the former Chandler boys head track coach, called Williams “the greatest assistant coach of all-time.”
Williams developed valley fever more than three years ago and battled more lung issues with Sarcoidosis, according to Richardson.
“He was helping us this year on a limited basis,” Richardson said. “He would come out when he could.”
Williams missed last week’s 78th annual Nike Chandler Rotary Invitational, because of fluid buildup in his lungs.
It worsened Sunday and he was hospitalized, Richardson said.
Chandler football coach Shaun Aguano said that Williams was part of the football program the last 17 years.
Chandler Principal Larry Rother called Williams a “beloved coach.”
“He touched the lives of all of the students he’d worked with over the years and his positive impact on our school will certainly carry on long after his passing,” Rother said.
Williams worked with Hannah Carson in the shot and discus, before she went onto a successful career at Texas Tech. She was ranked in the top five all-time in Arizona high school history in 2011 in the shot put and discus.
Williams worked with the Arizona Cheetahs club athletes during their elementary school days.
Stephen Carson, Hannah’s father, recalled how Williams kicked Hannah out of the weight room when she was 12 because she was lifting wrong and not taking it seriously.
“That incident would form one of the greatest coach/athlete duos in the history of Arizona sports,” Stephen Carson wrote. “Ted had a way of communicating with Hannah that kept her yoked and confident not only in competition but also in life. Ted was a father figure to Hannah as he was with most.”