Running back Boom Williams has been dealing as best he can with the offseason death of his younger sister, and Kentucky is doing what it can to help the junior during this difficult time, Coach Mark Stoops said Thursday.
“We are his home away from home and we’re trying to be very supportive of Boom,” Stoops said before one of his many speaking engagements this preseason. Williams tweeted out the news of his sister’s death earlier this week.
“He’s handled it the best he can,” Stoops said. “He’s been at almost all the workouts. He went home and went back for the funeral and the services and is back at work. We’re trying to support him the best we can in a difficult situation.”
Kentucky’s coach has his own experience of losing a loved one while playing college football. He was away at Iowa in 1988 when his father, Ron Stoops, died of a heart attack at age 54 shortly after coaching a high school game.
Getting back into the rhythm of football helped him heal, Stoops said. He’s hoping to it will be a similar comfort to Williams, who tweeted this week: “Gotta do it for my lil sister. I know she watchin’ over me.”
“It was certainly helpful to me when I lost my father when I was in college and it was good to get right back into a routine and have a lot of people around you that support you and want to be there to help you,” he said. “You feel a certain amount on yourself to not want to let the other guys down, too. Makes you kind of pick yourself up and get back to work. Very difficult. We’re just praying for him and his family.”