Equipment Manager: Cajuns family says goodbye: 'There will never be another Lynn Williams'
Kristin Askelson, The Advocate, March 27, 2019
The ultimate behind-the-scenes guy was in the spotlight Tuesday as family, friends and colleagues gathered to celebrate the life of Lynn Williams. The equipment manager for Ragin' Cajuns athletics since 1985, Williams died at his home March 20. He was 56.
His funeral at Our Saviour Church on East Broussard Road in Lafayette was awash in vermilion as friends wore UL gear to pay their respects.
"It's great to see everybody wearing red," said Jake Delhomme, Cajuns quarterback from 1993 to 1996. "How many of you paid for that shirt or did you get it from Lynn? Let's be honest."
Delhomme said Williams was the glue that held players, former players and coaches together through the years.
The outpouring of love since his death has been a testament to how much Williams valued relationships and nurtured them over years and years, Delhomme said, "and that's what made him so special. His soul was special. His soul was selfless."
Brandon Stokley, who played football for the Cajuns from 1995 to 1998, developed a relationship with Williams when the Stokleys moved to Lafayette in 1986. Nelson Stokley was head football coach from 1986 to 1998 and son Brandon was often in the Cajuns equipment room.
It was a tradition that was passed on to Brandon Stokley's sons, who often ask when they can go visit Mr. Lynn, Stokley said.
"I have so many great memories because of Lynn from my childhood," Stokley said. "There will never be another Lynn Williams."
The relationships were cemented over many seasons, road trips and late-night card games.
He would always win, said Anthony Babineaux, assistant UL baseball coach. But somehow he made you feel good about taking your money, he said.
That was the thing, Delhomme said. "Lynn Williams made people happy. Lynn Williams made me happy."
Williams was also a helper by nature, Babineaux said. There was absolutely nothing he wouldn't do to take care of his people.
"He would always refer to the coaches at the university as 'my coaches,'" Babineaux said. "I would hear him on the phone with vendors all the time, saying, 'My baseball coach, my football coach, my basketball coach...' I know that he referred to us in that way because, beyond his immediate family, we were his family."
Delhomme said Williams will be impossible to replace. "There were so many things that this man did, outside of the budget that nobody knows about," he said. "I feel sorry for one person, and that's Dr. Maggard. You don't know what you have to replace."
"He did it for his workers, for his players, for his kids," Delhomme said. "Good luck replacing that."