The Obit For Stan McWilliams

Stan McWilliams

Nov. 3, 1926 - April 7, 2008

Published in the TimesHeraldOnline on 4/9/2008.

Stan McWilliams, a longtime Vallejo sports legend and beloved husband, father, and coach passed away on April 7, 2008, after a long battle with cancer. Stan was 81.

Stan McWilliams is survived by his wife of 20 years, Doreen McWilliams, his daughter Kevin of San Rafael, son Kelly of Irvine, son Kerry of Newman, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and his extended family, children David, Daniel and Cathy, and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 36 years, Barnalee (Russell) McWilliams and his brothers Jack and Hugh. He also leaves behind a number of close friends and a teaching and coaching legacy that will not be forgotten.

Stan McWilliams was born on November 3, 1926, in Galveston, Texas, the son of John McWilliams and Espirita (Hughes) McWilliams. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Red Bluff, California, before finally settling in Vallejo, where Stan starred for the Vallejo High School Apaches in baseball, basketball, and football, graduating in 1944.

Stan continued on to College of Pacific (now University of Pacific) where he continued to excel in both baseball and basketball, leading the nation in scoring in basketball before leaving to serve in the Army in February 1945. Stan served 22 months on the Pacific warfront before returning to UOP to complete his education while successfully picking up where he left off on the basketball and baseball teams. Stan graduated from UOP in 1950 and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher.

Stan played seven years in the minor-league system of the Red Sox, including being named in 1951 as the top pitcher in the California League with a 23-10 record with a 2.55 ERA for San Jose. After an arm injury ended his baseball career, he returned to Vallejo where he began working for the Vallejo Unified School District. He became the baseball and basketball coach at Vallejo Junior College (now Solano Community College) in 1958, where he coached baseball for 29 years and basketball for 22 years with great success.

Stan concluded his coaching career in 1986 with 514 wins in baseball and 350 wins in basketball. He also had a 35-year career in officiating high school and college football and basketball. Stan retired from Solano CC in 1992, where he had taught physical education, health, and sports officiating classes.

Stan is a member of five Halls of Fame. In 1988, Stan was selected into the UOP Hall of Fame as a basketball and baseball player, and then entered the UOP Hall of Fame again in 1992 as a member of the 1948 championship team. He was also enshrined in the California Junior College Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1992. In 1995, McWilliams was selected as a charter member of the Solano Community College Hall of Fame, and in 2004 was again selected as a charter member of the Vallejo Sports Hall of Fame.

Stan is remembered as a man who loved his family, his friends, and his players. The family asks that any memorial contributions be given to the donor's favorite charity in Stan's name.

A celebration of Stan's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 18 at the Dan Foley Cultural Center, 100 Setterquist Ave., Dan Foley Park, Vallejo.

Please sign the online guestbook at Arrangements are under the direction and care of Twin Chapels Mortuary, Vallejo (707)552-6696.