11/19/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2020 11:23
November 18, 2020
Long time University of Georgia Sports Information Director dubbed Billy Henderson 'The Macon Meteor' when he arrived on the Athens campus in the mid-1940s because of his tremendous speed. Henderson was one of the top athletes to come out of Middle Georgia playing at Lanier High School in Macon where he was a two-time All-American in both football and baseball. Henderson lettered in 14 sports while playing for the Poets.
It's hard to say which sport he was better at, baseball or football. As a football running back, he scored a then season record of 150 points and had a career record of 318. As a baseball player, he hit .441 as a senior and led Lanier to back-to-back GIAA State Championships. He was chosen as Georgia's representative in the All America Boys Baseball Game played at the Polo Grounds in New York. He turned down a $10,000 signing bonus with the Detroit Tigers following the game. After high school, it was at the the University of Georgia for Henderson where he excelled in both baseball and football. He is still atop the stolen base category at UGA with 91 in his career. He was also named to the All-SEC team.
Henderson worked as an assistant at Jefferson High School, at Furman University, and the University of South Carolina before becoming the Athletic Director and Head football and baseball Coach at Age 29 when Willingham High School opened in 1958. He led Willingham to their only state championship in 1959 when the Ram baseball team captured the AAA state title. After leaving Willingham, he was an assistant football and head baseball coach for three seasons and won two state championships with the Cavaliers. While he was at Mt. de Sales, he was named the National High School Baseball Coach of the Year. This was the second time a Georgia high school coach had been named national coach of the year for any sport.
In 1973 Henderson took over as Athletic Director and head football coach at Clarke Central High School where he spent 22 seasons compiling a final record of 222-65-1 and had an overall coaching record of 285-107-15 which made him one of the most successful coaches in Georgia high school history. Henderson founded the Athens Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Champions Foundation. These organizations were established to provide summer day camps and sports camps to help high school athletes find scholarships and to promote sportsmanship. Henderson was the recipient of the Atlanta Falcons Lifetime Achievement Award. He made 18 straight playoff appearances and ended his head coaching career with three state football championships, three baseball championships, and one swimming championship. He was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in (insert year).