Former Yellowjackets coach Chris Williams and some of his swimmers


“I just don’t understand how someone that wants to help kids excel is benched.”

LEBANON, Missouri- Fired Yellowjackets swim team coach Chris Williams  today wrote the following to his former YMCA swim team and parents today expressing his ongoing frustration and his desire to lead them again:


“Well, almost 2 weeks into this nightmare and I still can’t sleep at night. I really wish I could perform what I set out to do 8 years ago: be the best kids program in Lebanon, the region, the State, the Area!

I know we accomplished that but I want more, so much more. I absolutely LOVE being with your kids and seeing them improve and get excited. You see, I am really a 10 year old in a man’s body. Lol. As you have probably seen, I get as excited about swim than the average 10 year old on the team.  Anyway, I am hoping and praying I can be your leader. I miss it so bad.

I just don’t understand how someone that wants to help kids excel is benched. With everything that is going on in this country – I believe it is imperative to help these kids. That is why I threw my hat in the ring. We are NOT moving in the right direction as a whole in the country. If a person that wants to help so much gets thrown out – WHO WILL STEP UP? Kim and I have a very, very unique situation in which we homeschool, and I have a job that pays the bills. We are both passionate about swim and seeing kids succeed. We both have extensive swim coach experience – from 5 years old to college level swimming. I hate to tell you all, but experienced swim coaches will NOT come easy in Lebanon. Experienced, passionate, and willing to do the job with little to no pay? WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND. We were doing the job of the Y aquatic director. This Y had a true gift – a great program that they had to do very very little for. A program successful in all ways – athletically, life skills building, financially. It all seems so bizarre to me.

I don’t want you to get the idea I’m patting myself on the back, but if not me, WHO? If not now, WHEN?
The city, the team, and Kim and I desperately deserve better answers. I start to think, well, Chris, maybe it’s just time to move on. The parents did everything they could. It was a great run. But dang it, we put our lives on hold for this team, and the Y is throwing us away like a piece of garbage.

I’m just so saddened.”

Provided photo

Williams announced he was terminated on November 21st. The YMCA said the firing was the result of an ongoing personnel matter and could not comment in detail. “This is not a decision that we took lightly and we thank Chris Williams for his efforts as head coach and his contribution towards the successes of the team.  We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” Y director Julie Eaton said.