Penn State Football Letterman Jim Williams Dies At Age 78
Jim Williams, a Penn State football letterman who played for the Nittany Lions under head coach Rip Engle, died Wednesday morning at the age of 78.
Williams graduated from Penn State with a degree in business administration in 1963. Before joining the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff as a defensive assistant in 1977, Williams worked as a coach in different roles for Bellefonte High School and State High. He led the Little Lions to a 65-13 record in eight seasons with the program, and among the players he coached at State High was Matt Suhey, who went onto play fullback alongside NFL legend Walter Payton on the Chicago Bears.
After spending 16 years on the Penn State coaching staff, Williams left his post in 1993 and served as an administrative assistant for the team until his retirement in 2005. Williams helped the Nittany Lions construct one of their best-ever defenses in 1986 — the year Penn State claimed its second national championship in program history.
Williams’ visitation will take place from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday, October 14 at Koch Funeral Home on South Atherton St. His funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, October 15 at Our Lady of Victory in State College. In lieu of flowers, you can make donations to the Penn State Football Lettermen’s Assistance Fund or the State College Football Boosters.
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“To any current underclassmen reading this: learn the fight song, cheer loud, and tailgate early. You’re lucky to be a Nittany Lion.”
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