William G.
"Big Bill"
Smothers Sr.


BIG BILL SMOTHERS was born January 29, 1942. His early years were spent in Kentucky. He came to Camden at the behest of former Camden High basketball star Ron "Itchy" Smith in the mid-1960s, playing basketball for a short time with the Camden Bullets of the Eastern Basketball League. Shortly afterwards, his wife Shirley bore him a son, William Jr., at Our lady of Lourdes Hospital on Haddon Avenue.

Bill Smothers remained in Camden, 

and was for many years the basketball coach at Woodrow Wilson High School on Federal Street.  In 1986-87 his team went 26-4. .He also coached at Rutger-Camden in the 1970s. Big Bill Smothers passed away in August of 1995, survived by his wife and son. The gymnasium at Woodrow Wilson High was renamed in his honor. 


Camden County-Record - November 25, 1976

RUTGERS-CAMDEN CO-CAPTAINS AND COACH - Team strategy for the opening basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 27, when the Pioneers meet Coppin State College at the Camden campus is discussed by (l-to-r) co-captains Michael Mangold of Camden and Raymond Pace of Philadelphia with their new coach William G. Smothers. Determined to succeed in posting their fourth consecutive winning season, the 1976 Pioneers playa 22-game schedule in NAIA District 31.


The William Smothers Gymnasium

Big Bill Smothers is remembered by his son, Big Bill Smothers Jr., who helped create this page,
and countless other former players and students from Woodrow Wilson High School.

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