Richard Williams

Hometown: Pearl, MS
Year of Induction: 2014

High School

  • Was a left-handed baseball pitcher and self-described “mediocre basketball player” at Pearl High Scool.


  • Graduated from Mississippi State, where he didn’t play sports but did attend regularly the practices of Hall of Fame basketball coach Babe McCarthy.


  • Began his basketball coaching career as the volunteer coach of a seventh grade team in Natchez.
  • Steadily moved up through the ranks as a highly successful high school and junior college coach.
  • Was hired by Bob Boyd at Mississippi State as a part-time coach.
  • In 1986, Williams took over a Mississippi State basketball program that had finished 8-22 overall and 3-15 in the Southeastern Conference the previous season. Four years later, State was 20-9, 13-5 and won the SEC West.
  • In 1996, Willliams’ State team defeated eventual national champ Kentucky to win the SEC Tournament , then won four straight NCAA tournament games to reah the Final Four.

Did You Know?

  • Williams’s State teams won 191 games, lost 163 and made it to the NCAA Sweet 16 twice. He was named SEC Coach of the Year twice.