Beloved teacher and coach dies giving birth
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The JCPS community is wrapping its arms around one of its own as the head football coach at Pleasure Ridge Park is going through the unimaginable.
PRP Coach Tommy Williams lost his wife Amanda, a beloved teacher and coach at the school, as she gave birth to twin girls on Wednesday.
The Flag at Waggener High was at half-staff Thursday in honor of Mrs. Williams.
Principal Kim Salyer told us Mrs. Williams was like a mother to students, especially to her husband's football team.
"She treated our students like they were her family," Salyer said. "She was the epitome of that. She was a wonderful person that loved PRP more than anybody I know. We are truly devastated."
When Amanda Williams wasn't teaching English, she was coaching and tutoring.
Amanda Williams, a 2002 PRP grad, mother and teacher, also coached volleyball, cheerleading and served the high school as its Athletic Academic Coordinator. The wife of first year football coach Tommy Williams, she tutored his players and many students after school.
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Crisis counselors are helping students, and the supportive calls and emails from teachers, coaches and leaders around the district are helping them all. The principal said hearing the news that Mrs. Williams died giving birth to her twin girls and having to tell her fellow teachers and then the students was traumatic.
The students "...have left flowers and are putting post-it notes on her door and even notes to her family and her children and to her husband," Principal Sayler said.
Waggener Football Coach Jordan Johnson has talked with Tommy Williams. Johnson and other coaches are trying to let Williams know how much everyone cares about he and his family.
Johnson can't imagine what the coach is going through.
"The emotion of having to deal with what he's dealing with, and the emotion of feeling like you still need to push the young men forward," Johnson said.
Williams has taken the Panthers to the 6-A playoffs.
"Just sometimes knowing that people are there...we hope that will help him put the pieces back together, a little," Johnson said.
The team had a closed practice Thursday and the school is looking at ways to help the family. The principal says they don't know if he will be coaching his team against St. X Friday night or not.
The principal says St. X has been very kind in offering ways to honor the coach's wife at Friday night's game. They want it to be back to normal for the players as quickly as possible.
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