In 2008, Dustin Williams was a member of the Paris boys basketball team that found their way to the State Tournament, a feat the Eagles had accomplished since 1984. Now he returns home as coach of the Lady Eagles Basketball program, and brings with him significant accomplishment in his short coaching career.
At age 26, he returns home having led three schools to regional tournaments and one to a state tournament birth.
As soon as his contract was signed, Williams went to work on a 3A program that lost a Division 1 athlete but returns several underclassmen. His emphasis has been on the fundamentals and letting the girls learn his system. He has worked to start building a bridge and establishing a culture where the expectations are that of the Lady Eagle Volleyball team.
With the girls having to learn a new system and terminology, the little time they can squeeze in before volleyball starts, every moment helps. Williams says the primary objective is building a family culture and getting players to buy in to a new coach and philosophy, which requires hard work, both from the coaching staff and the players.
Expect to see a man to man fundamental defense, and a variable pace offense that will look for the best matchup and how to exploit it. The senior ladies will have a lot of size, so look for them to use size to their advantage, while the junior Ladies will likely have more speed and emphasize that.
With several new players coming out, learning base offense sets and defensive rotations has been important. The lady Eagles are putting in the work, some staying in the gym as long as they can on the days they are allowed. Currently, all sports are in their “dead period” where players and coaches can have no contact. Most coaches usually get away before the fall push starts.
Look for the Lady Eagles, led by Williams to make a statement early. There is a good amount of talent in the system and Williams has shown an ability to win in the first few seasons at every stop he has been. The attitude and work ethic has been good since his arrival, and time should help.
Williams said he had been known for making a quick turnaround with teams, but his emphasis, now that he is home, is to establish a culture of winning, raising the expectations of players and the community. The Lady Eagles and Williams joined boys Coach Mike Foster and hosted a junior flight camp this summer and have put in a lot of time in the gym, putting in the work so that this fall, after the Lady Eagle Volleyball team makes another run at a state title, expectations will be high for the Lady Eagles basketball team as they set a new course under the leadership of Williams, a name well known in the community.