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Willie J. Williams

Willie Williams broke Jesse Owens’ world record in the 100 meters during an International Military meet in Berlin, Germany. Williams did so on the same track that Owens used and on the same date twenty years after Hitler’s Berlin Olympics.

When stopped competing Williams became a coach and in the 70’s, he led Gary West Side High School to several state championships and set records. After an illustrious high career, he coached University of Illinois men’s track team sprinters and hurdlers to Big Ten championships that garnered a great deal of notoriety.

Willie retired from the University of Illinois in 2000. He and his wife Barbara reside in Urbana, Illinois and are the proud parents of two daughters and two grandsons. Sprinting Through Life reaffirms how education, athletics, determination and courage are winning combinations in life.

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