RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Former St. Augustine’s track and field head coach George Williams will take his place among the sport’s greatest coaches when he accepts the 2022 USA Track and Field Coaching Legend award Saturday on the other side of the country.

“That’s awesome to be in a group of men like that, that lets you know that your colleagues and your peers think a lot of you,” Williams said Tuesday afternoon at his home in Raleigh. “That means they have a lot of respect for you and you respect them. “I think this, next to the Olympics, this is the next highest platform of my life.”

That’s saying a lot.

In 2004, Williams was named Head U.S. Olympic Track and Field Coach at the Athen games.

At the time, Williams was in the midst of a coaching dynasty that would see him win an astounding 39 NCAA Division II National Championships in his 44 years of coaching at St. Augustine’s.

For Williams, though, all the honors and awards given to him are secondary to seeing one of his athletes achieve success, he said.

“I tried to do the right thing,” Williams said. “I tried to be honest, fair and trustworthy, and I like to have relationships with people. I think that’s how I got to this place with good relationships, honesty and (being) trustworthy, you can go a long way that way.”

And Williams has.

In his nearly four and a half decades of coaching Williams has produced 282 individual national champions and more than 40 Olympians. 95 percent of his athletes also graduated from college.

“If you do it right and you do it fair, you can go a long way. If you do it wrong you won’t go far. I figured that out early in my coaching career,” Williams said. “I could win a couple of championships real quick by doing this but it might not be right. But I said, ‘no let’s do it right, stick with it’ and it worked.”

On Saturday in Eugene, Oregon, at the USATF Outdoor Championships, he will be presented with the highest honor a coach can get. A true legend of the sport.