By Terra Avilla
I have known Dan and Suzanne Williams pretty much my entire time living and working in our community. They are the incredibly cute married couple that coaches the college rodeo team.
However, I had the pleasurable happenstance of eating lunch with the two of them, as well as with their adorable 4-year-old son, and I was in absolute awe of the power duo.
I, along with what I guess is most of our community, have a very small understanding of their sport and all it entails. In fact, my entire lunch was spent listening to them talk about their team’s achievements and I am absolutely blown away. The things that their team has to do, just to compete, are unreal.
I learned that they don’t compete in conferences like the baseball team or basketball, and they don’t just compete against other junior colleges – they compete against other programs, like Cal Poly and Chico State.
And boy do they travel. The team, in order to compete, will travel all over the US, but due to the nature of their sport (i.e. they need to bring living animals with them) hopping into a team van and hitting the road just isn’t going to work. The amount of planning and orchestrating that is needed for the team to succeed is absolutely mind-blowing to me.
Additionally, I had no idea that Rodeo was a fall and spring sport. They go year-round. These guys and gals are constantly going!
Then there are the activities themselves. Dan and Suzanne coach their team in a variety of competitions, not just one. The guys and gals compete as individuals (although there are some exceptions like team roping) and earn points individually for the team.
From what I gleaned from my conversation with Coach Dan, our Lassen team is dang good. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention how sweet I thought it was that he spoke so highly about his bride, bragging about her abilities and the fact that she still holds rodeo records to this date nationwide.
Aside from what the pair does in order to get their team to compete (the prepping, planning… oh and the fundraising) did you know they host their own rodeo here? How cool!
Dan and Suzanne are simply great human beings, that I have known from the beginning.
Watching how they interact with each other, the other coaches, their team, and their son – two amazing individuals that have managed to support and build a truly one-of-a-kind program locally that simply just doesn’t get the kudos it deserves! So here I am to say job well done Williams Family!
I and the rest of the community wish you so much luck this weekend in Las Vegas! Your team will do awesome, because with coaches like you at the head of the team, how could they not?