St. Aug's and legendary track coach George Williams have chance at 40th NCAA title

You don't end up being the topic of an ESPN article for no reason.

The sports television company showed George Williams some love ahead of what could be a particularly special weekend for the legendary St. Augustine’s track coach.

The Falcons have a chance to claim the program’s 40th Division II NCAA track title on Saturday in Charlotte. All 39 titles so far have come under Williams’ watch.

Williams and the championship opportunity gained a salute in article form on Thursday on ESPN’s The Undefeated website.

The piece recounts the highlights of Williams’ 41 years leading the Falcons program and helping to produce more than 40 Olympians. It also gives an overview of this year's St. Aug's teams.

He told The Undefeated that it is the athletes that have kept him in the coaching game over the years: “People make the world go around. It’s not about the awards. It’s about the students.”

The 2016 Olympics marked the eighth for Williams, who is also the athletic director at St. Aug’s. He was the head coach for the U.S. men’s team in Athens in 2004.

Among Williams’ more recent athletes are American hurdlers Bershawn Jackson, Johnny Dutch and Keni Harrison.

Jackson won a world title in the 400-meter hurdles under Williams in 2005. Dutch and Harrison are both from Clayton.

He had four make it to Rio: Jamaica’s Roxroy Cato, the Bahamas’ Jeffery Gibson, and the Barbados’ Tia-Adana Belle and Burkheart Ellis Jr. Ellis is from Raleigh and was part of the track dynasty at Knightdale High School.

The final event Saturday at the Irwin Belk Complex at Johnson C. Smith University is set for 7:10 p.m., with team awards to follow at 7:30.

George Williams attended St. Augustine’s College, then returned to coach track, field and cross-country.

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