Gloria Williams, an assistant for five years, has been promoted to head girls basketball coach at Parkway.
Williams takes over for Aaron Megee, who stepped down after 13 years to become an assistant principal at Haughton Middle School.
Williams said she’s very appreciative of the administration at Parkway, including new principal Waylon Bates, for giving her the opportunity.
“I’m super excited about it,” she said. “Everyone in my family is excited about it. I got out of head coaching when I first moved here to Bossier Parish. It’s always been a dream of mine to become a head coach again. Once this opportunity presented itself, it’s like, it’s just awesome.”
Before moving to Bossier Parish, Williams was the head girls basketball and track and field coach at Ringgold. She spent one year coaching at Rusheon Middle School before coming to Parkway as an assistant in 2011.
“She’s got a great vision where she wants to take the program and help rebuild the program,” Parkway athletic director Rick Bryant said. “She’s been here at Parkway as an assistant coach. She sees the things these girls need to do. She’s been with them. She’s developed great relationships with these kids, and she has an excellent vision on how to move this program forward and be successful.”
Williams thinks she is more ready now to be a head coach again after her experience at Rusheon and as an assistant to Megee.
“Being at a middle school and then going to a high school as an assistant has made me a better coach,” she said.
Williams is married to Bossier boys head coach Jeremiah Williams, who is fresh off winning his second Class 4A state championship.
“He’s just excited as I am,” Williams said. “He knows that I’ve wanted to get back to head coaching.”
Parkway won six district championships and 258 games during Megee’s tenure. He led the Lady Panthers to eight straight playoff appearances from 2004-05 to 2011-12. Parkway reached the Class 4A semifinals in the 2007-08 season after consecutive trips to the quarterfinals.
After moving up to Class 5A in 2011-12, Parkway lost to eventual state champion Lafayette in the second round 53-44. Since then, the program has had a tough stretch with no playoff appearances in the last four seasons.
Williams obviously believes there is plenty of potential at Parkway to get the program back to where it was.
“We have some athletic kids that are in the program,” she said. “They’re working hard this summer. We’re excited about the new leadership and where the possibilities could take us.”
Williams said there naturally is some basketball talk in her household between her and her husband, but the two try to keep it to a minimum.
“We don’t make that the main priority here at home because we have so many other responsibilities,” she said. “We try not to talk about it too much, but we’ve had to talk about it a lot in the last couple of weeks in making this decision.”
There is also some strategy talk.
“We do talk about the scheme of the games, the Xs and 0s and what would you do in this situation,” she said “It’s pretty funny because he likes to use coins to draw up plays and so it’s always — if the ball is here, this, this, this and that, and I’m always like well, what if you do this, and I change it in a different direction. It’s nice to have that support and extra head to bounce ideas off of.”
One thing the Williams definitely have in common is their belief that playing tough defense leads to success.
“We are definitely defensive-oriented in this household,” she said. “We know that defense wins championships and offense wins games. We have to have that defensive mindset.”
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org