Williams exits as CR hoop coach, takes administrator job

Caesar Rodney boys basketball coach Freeman Williams. Delaware State News file photo

CAMDEN — Freeman Williams admits there will probably always be a part of him that wants to coach basketball.

But the veteran Caesar Rodney High boys’ basketball coach feels like he’ll still be coaching kids in his new job — just with a different job title.

On Tuesday night, the 42-year-old Williams was hired as an assistant principal at CR’s Postlethwait Middle School.

That means he’ll be stepping down as the Riders’ basketball coach. He’s been CR’s head coach for all but three seasons since 2006, taking the Riders to the DIAA state finals in 2009.

“It was time,” said Williams. “It was time to move forward with my career as an administrator.

“It’s funny. When you talk to different people that coached and then move into administration, one of the things that a lot of times they’ll say is you’ll always have the ‘coaching itch.’

“The exciting thing is that I’ll still coach, but the environment that I’m going to coach in (will change). You coach in hallways, you coach in classrooms and in the building as one of the leaders in the building.”

Williams has stepped away from coaching basketball before, of course.

In 2011, he left to take a job in CR’s district office before returning three seasons later. Williams has led CR to the state tournament in five of the last six seasons.

The Riders have gone 44-21 over the last three seasons, including a 16-6 mark this past winter. That was the most victories for the program since going 17-5 in 2013-14 — Williams’ first season back on the bench.

After that 2013-14 season, Williams was named the Henlopen Conference Coach of the Year.

Williams said he met with his players on Wednesday to talk about his move.

“I just kind of told them I still love them,” said Williams. “I’ll obviously be supporting them and wanting them to do well.”

Williams, whose wife, Tameka, is the Riders’ girls’ head coach, expects there will be a good deal of interest in the coaching vacancy at CR.

In a lot of ways, of course, he’s already guided the Riders through a great deal of their off-season preparation for the 2019-20 campaign. CR played in a couple summer leagues as well as going away to a team camp.

Overall, the former Wesley College standout guard feels pretty good about the way he’s leaving the program.

“I look at where the program is now,” said Williams. “We had some success. The program is in a really good state right now. There’s a lot of quality athletes, a lot of kids that take pride in our school.

“I feel like it’s a strong foundation that’s there. That was important to me. You want to leave things better than you found it. I was blessed to work under Coach (John) Coveleski and my brother in law, Tiff McCullough. The goal was to build off of what they did.

“Hopefully somebody can build off the foundation that we were able to build. But I’m proud of our experiences and proud of what we’ve established with our kids.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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