Allen's playoff run ends in state semifinals

Allen's comeback bid was denied and the Eagles dropped a 52-41 decision to Converse Judson in the Class 5A State Semifinals. Allen ISD athletic director Steve Williams, right, presented Allen senior Myron Fisher, middle, and the Eagles with their tournament plaque.

One of the cornerstones in Allen’s ascent as an athletics program, longtime athletic director Steve Williams announced his retirement on Thursday.

Williams amassed a 46-year career as a teacher, coach and administrator, including the past 21 as Allen ISD’s athletic director.

“It has been an incredible privilege to spend my 46-year career in Allen ISD and work with dedicated coaches, students, and district staff,” Williams said via press release. “I truly never thought of this as just a job, because the people I worked with made it so much more than that. I want to thank the many amazing Allen ISD coaches I’ve worked with in my career. 

“We’ve consistently had outstanding coaches, but more importantly, they’ve been great teachers and role models for our students. I also want to thank the dedicated superintendents I have worked with over the years, including Dr. Jenny Preston, Dr. Lance Hindt, and Dr. Robin Bullock, who always had their confidence in me to do the job the right way. I spoke with Dr. Bullock in December and told her my intention to retire this year, and I truly appreciate her leadership and support over the past several months.”

An AISD lifer whose career spanned nearly five decades, Williams joined the school district in 1975. He coached the Eagles’ football and boys basketball teams, including a stint as head coach for the latter, before being named athletic director in 2000.

Under Williams’ direction, Allen rose to national prominence as an athletics powerhouse. The Eagles won 28 state championships during Williams’ tenure as athletic director, including team titles in wrestling (11), football (five), girls golf (four) and boys basketball (one). Allen is perennially in the mix for the UIL Lone Star Cup, awarded each year to the state's top overall athletics and academic program.

The longtime AD was inducted into the Allen Athletics Hall of Honor in 2014 and into the Texas High School Athletic Directors Association’s Hall of Honor in 2020.

“I am so proud of the legacy that we have built in the Allen ISD Athletics Department over the years, and I’m confident that it is the best in the state, if not the nation,” Williams said. “Some people might say that it’s because we have the best athletes, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. The Allen Eagles are successful because this community truly values education. The children in this district have supportive families, they are good students, and they do things the right way each and every day. That will always lead to a winning formula.”

Williams’ announcement comes amid a busy week in the AISD athletics administrative ranks. On Tuesday, Allen head football coach and assistant athletic director Terry Gambill announced his retirement after a 36-year coaching career, including the past five leading the Eagles. Gambill singled out Williams as a prominent influence in his career.

“There’s one person who has been huge in my coaching career at Allen High School and I owe him a lot, and that’s Steve Williams,” Gambill said. “He’s the one who brought me back and gave me this opportunity. Every day, I would learn different things from him. You’re talking about a great honor to work with him.”

According to AISD, Williams will remain in his current role until June. The school district will soon begin the search for the next in line to lead the district’s athletics department. A job opening has already been posted by AISD.

“If you’ve been to an Allen Eagles athletic event in the last few decades, you’ve likely seen coach Williams providing his endless support to our student-athletes and coaching staff,” said Dr. Robin Bullock, Allen ISD superintendent, in a press release. “Coach Williams is synonymous with the Allen ISD athletics department, and his steady direction has helped the program reach the highest levels of success in the state. Coach Williams is a legend in the world of Texas high school sports, and he has served as a mentor to countless coaches and athletic directors throughout the state.

“I am honored that I had the opportunity to work with him for the past eight years and learn about the legacy of excellence that he created in Allen,” Bullock said. “We now have the important job of protecting the legacy and foundation that coach Williams established. I will always cherish the friendship that we have forged over the years, and even though he is retiring, I look forward to seeing coach Williams at Allen sporting events for many years to come.”

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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