Bill Ming
Class of 2017

Bill Ming
Bill Ming has the championship touch.

As a multi-sport athlete at Athens High, Ming was part of three state titles.

And when Ming had children of his own, those championship genes were passed down to the next generation.

Seven, that’s how many state titles an Athens team has won with a Ming on the roster. Ming’s children, William and Elizabeth and Sarah, were part of Athens state title teams.

“Sports always have been important in our family,” Ming said. “And so is Athens High School. Being part of a championship team is a great memory, but watching your kids be successful is even more meaningful.”

The Ming family’s championship tradition began in the 1970s, when Bill was a standout athlete on Athens’ football and track programs.

In 1975, former Athens coach Larry McCoy fielded a football team with a star- studded lineup — a roster that included Ming and fellow 2017 inductee Thomas Woodroof.

That 1975 team amassed a 12-1-1 tie record while winning the Class XA state title—beating Andalusia 35-15 in the championship game.

Ming was a significant part of that championship run. He played linebacker, tight end and also served as the team’s punter.

“Being on that 1975 team is probably my most memorable sports moment,” Ming said. “That was a special team. Had a lot of great teammates. The memories we made have lasted a lifetime.”

McCoy agreed. “There were a lot of outstanding players on that team,” the former Athens coach said. “And Bill was one of our team leaders. He was the kind of player a coach loves. He responded well to coaching, and he had a kind of winning personality that rubbed off on others.”

While in high school, Ming also was part of state titles in track and field in 1975 and 1976, and he won an individual state title in shotput in 1976.

After graduating for Athens, Ming attended Middle Tennessee State, where he played four seasons for the Blue Raiders’ football program.

Thirty-one years after Athens won the 1975 football state title, the Golden Eagles did it again, winning the 2006 Class 5A state title.

And once again, there was a Ming on the field.

Bill’s son, William, was a sophomore defensive end on the 2006 state title team. William went on to become an all-state player who signed with Alabama, where he was part of the Crimson Tide’s 2009 national title team.

“Being part of the 1975 championship team always has been important to me,” Bill said. “So, getting to see William experience the same thing was pretty special. Not many father and sons get to share something like that.”

The family’s athletic success did not end there.

In 2010, Bill’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth, played on the Athens softball team that topped Mortimer Jordan for the Class 5A state title. And, in 2013, Bill’s youngest child, Sarah, played on the Athens girls soccer team that beat St. Paul’s 1-0 to win the Class 5A state title.

“I’m extremely proud of my children,” Ming said. “As a parent, the feeling you get from watching your kids be successful, words can’t describe it.

“Now, getting a chance to be recognized by the hall of fame, this is a huge honor,” Ming added. “I was fortunate to play with some great players, and I had some great coaches. If it had not been for all those great guys, I might not have had this opportunity.”