Robinson High's Coach Freddie inspires generations of players

- For 50 years, Thomas Richard Robinson High School assistant Fred Williams has been coaching baseball in Hillsborough County.

He's taught generation after generation; even the sons of fathers he once coached years ago.

Coach Freddie, as he's known to his players, has spread his knowledge of game to multiple programs across the county. He brings one message:   

"I come out in order to help somebody get better," Coach Freddie said.

It's that simple. His love for baseball exceeds the game itself. It's about the people and young athletes like Killian McCray.

"He's never not been here," said the Robinson senior shortstop. "He's always gotten here. It means a lot to us, just that he shows up all the time for everything, even though it's way harder for him to get here than anybody else."

The journey and the job are harder because a knee injury limits Coach Freddie's mobility.

"He doesn't drive and lives a good ways from here. He lives in Ybor City," said Robinson Head Baseball Coach Kevin McCray. "So for him to have to take a bus, you know, it's probably an hour, an hour and a half with all the stops just to get here, and basically work for free to help these young men."

Years ago, Coach Freddie blew his knee out reffing a basketball game. It forces him to coach from the bench. It makes his voice that much more powerful.

"I learned really quick that Freddie is not scared to say anything to anybody," said Killian.

"I'm the guy that tells you how it is," said Williams. "When you're great, you're great. When you're good, you're good. When you're bad, you're bad. I'm going to tell you that, no matter what."

"He's tough on the guys, but no one has more fun with these guys than him," said McCray.

In a coaching career that has spanned more than five decades, Freddie has no immediate plans to stop anytime soon. 

"Every year I find somebody that I can help and I stay with them until they graduate," he said. "Every year, the next year, I find somebody else."

Coaching is definitely in his blood. 

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