The words leadership, determination, and service epitomize the person that Coach Billy Henderson was throughout his career in education. Not only was Coach Henderson a storied high school football coach and Athletic Director, but he also was a proud husband and father to his family. Throughout his educational career, Henderson served in many compacities but always aimed to be a positive steward for his community.
Coach Henderson was born in Dublin, Georgia and raised in Macon, Georgia. During his high school athletic career at Lanier High School, Henderson was twice named All-American player for both football and baseball. In his four years of high school, Henderson earned fourteen letters in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He was drafted by the Chicago Cubs after his senior year of high school, but he chose to sign a football scholarship with the University of Georgia. There he was an All-SEC performer and earned eight letters in baseball and football. To this day, Coach Henderson still holds the career stolen bases and four-year batting average records for UGA Baseball.
Coach Henderson took his first coaching job in 1951 at Jefferson High School where he spent two seasons coaching. In 1954, Henderson accepted a job to coach at Athens High School before entering the college coaching profession with stops at Furman University and the University of South Carolina. After two years at collegiate level, Henderson returned to Macon, Georgia, to become the Athletic Director, Head Baseball, and Head Football Coach at Willingham High School. He spent the next twelve years there before taking a position at Mount De Sales Academy serving as an assistant football and baseball coach. In 1973, Coach Henderson made the move back to Athens, Georgia to become the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach of Clarke Central High School. Henderson spent the next twenty-three years in that capacity where he amassed a 222-65-1 record that included three state championships and eleven region championships. In his thirty-five-year career as a Head Football Coach, Coach Henderson earned an overall record of 285-107-16. In all his years as a coach, he was a part of four baseball state championships, three football state championships, and one swimming state championship. As the Athletic Director at Clarke Central High School for twenty-three years, Henderson was a part of seventy-six championships (nine state championships, forty-one region championships, and twenty-six sub-region championships.)
Coach Henderson’s success as an Athletic Director and Head Coach brought about many forms of recognition and opportunity to serve with many organizations. His awards and accomplishments include Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame, President of the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association, National Baseball Coach of the Year, Georgia Athletic Director of the Year, the naming of Clarke Central’s Football Stadium named “Billy Henderson Stadium”; Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Lifetime Achievement Award, Athens Athletic Hall of Fame Founder and Inductee, Macon Hall of Fame Inductee, Georgia Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame Inductee, GHSA Hall of Fame, and the Atlanta Falcons Lifetime Achievement Award. During his time in the education and coaching profession, Coach Henderson served the Boys Club in Macon and Athens, the YMCA, Big Brothers, Champions Club, and was integral in the planning of the construction of the Macon Coliseum.
Coach Henderson had two daughters (Fran and Carol) and three sons (Johnny, Chris, and Brad) with his wife of sixty-three years, Mrs. Frances “Fosky” Henderson.