Altus coach receives national honor

Altus coach receives national honor

ALTUS, OK (KSWO)- A former Altus wrestling coach is making national headlines after being named the National Wrestling Coaches Association's Scholastic Coach of the Year.

Nick Williams found out he won this award just three weeks ago. He started to get text messages from people saying congratulations and he couldn't believe it. He said after being diagnosed with ALS last year, this award has lifted his spirits and made him realize the legacy he's leaving behind in Altus.

"To know that I am the head coach of the year over anybody in the United States, It's just an amazing feeling, said Williams. "I don't know that it's actually sunk in yet."

After 21 years of coaching wrestling, winning multiple state titles and helping hundreds of student athletes graduate, one of Coach Nick Williams dreams came true.

"I honestly think I started preparing myself for that award when I was a kid" said Williams. "I grew up on a farm, I worked everyday, I worked hard everyday."

Although he was surprised, Williams former athletes weren't. Kamron Canchola said being coached by Williams from 2014 to 2017 changed his life. He learned many life lessons that now help him in the Army National Guard.

"Basic training was very difficult and I always remembered back to Coach Williams and he pushed me to my full potential, so I always knew there was more," said Canchola. "I always knew if I could do his wrestling routine, then I could make it through basic totally fine."

Williams credits his success to those who've always been there for him through the wins and losses.

"It's unbelievable," said Williams. "That goes back to the kids I've coached. It goes back to the coaches that have coached me.You can't do all of this alone. It goes back to my family, my wife. It goes back to my kids."

Because of Williams, Canchola has a new perspective on life.

"You've been the father figure like I said before, said Canchola. "When I look down and I have to go deep and I every time I think stuff is getting hard, I think about him. I know through wrestling and what he's going through right now, if he can do it, it's only right for me to do it because I'm perfectly fine and he has so much more to face than I do. He wakes up everyday and shows the world he can do it."

Williams said although he's retired, he's still going to be around as a volunteer to help with the wrestling team. He will officially receive the coach of the year award at the National Wrestling Coaches Association Conference in Daytona Beach in August.

Copyright 2018 KSWO. All rights reserved.