Max Williams

Class of 1952, was inducted into the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame on  May 6, 2003.


Fans call Williams an impressive individual

By Tommy Priddy
P-I Sports Editor

maxw2.jpg.jpg (7713 bytes)To be remembered as kind, caring and as an impressive individual is a much bigger reward than any sports honor.

The late R.M. "Max" Williams is called all those things by the people who attended school and played football with him at Grove High School and at Mississippi State University in the 1950’s.

Williams was born in Harlan, Kentucky, in 1934 but attended school at Buchanan and graduated from Grove High School.

He was a basketball player under Virgil Wall at Buchanan School as a high school freshman when Wall took him to a Grove football game in 1949.

      Max  Williams

Grove coach Robert Jelks allowed Williams to sit on the bench with the Grove team that has been called the towns greatest ever for decades. It was the first football game he had ever seen. Williams would start the second football game he saw and thus a career began that carried him to accolades in high school and in college.

For his accomplishments both on and off the playing field, Williams was elected to the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame and inducted, post-humorously, on May 6, 2003. He was one of five new inductees to the local Hall of Fame joining Debbie Hays Doster, Billy Joe Adams, James R. "Jimmy" Fitzsimmons and the late J. R. Latimer.

The Hall of Fame committee will present longtime youth athletic volunteer Coleman Crews with the Distinguished Service Award.

Williams played guard on the Grove football team and lettered all three years there. He played for Andy Settles his senior year at Grove (1951-1952 school year) and was named co-captain of the team. He was chosen Most Athletic that year.

He was heavily recruited by several major colleges but chose Mississippi State when head coach Murray Warmath and top assistant Derrell Royal offered him full scholarship.

Williams enjoyed an outstanding career at Mississippi State where he again started at guard.

Royal, well-known as the longtime head coach at the University of Texas, became Mississippi State’s head coach during Williams’ sophomore and junior seasons. Wade Walker coached the Bulldogs during Williams’ senior year.

While at Mississippi State, Williams earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering.

He entered the Air Force after college and served as navigator. He received his discharge from the service in 1961 and went to work for the Stribling Puckett Heavy Equipment Contractors of Jackson, Mississippi later that year.

Williams was still working for that company when he was killed in a corporate plane crash in 1975.

Williams left his wife, the former Arlan Ann Kerman of Wisconsin, and two children.

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From the Paris Post-Intelligencer
Paris, Tennessee
April 24, 2003 Edition
Used by Permission

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