I had to make sure that this was real. I still can’t believe this happened. The first African-American woman to become Athletic Director at a Power 5 conference school is Carla Williams. She was the Deputy Director at University of Georgia and was a former three-year starter basketball player for the Dawgs back in 1987-89. After her basketball career overseas, she came back to Athens, Georgia as an assistant coach under Coach Landers at UGA. Mrs. Williams received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from UGA and also has a Ph.D in sport administration. She went from working at Florida State to Vanderbilt to UGA where she was later promoted Deputy Director of Athletics. Her career began back in 1996 and has elevated her to this new position that she rightfully has earned.
I shared my thoughts on the announcement of her receiving this position and what it meant for collegiate athletics. She’s down right perfect. Many times as African-Americans we have to be perfect in order to compete with others in our different career fields. If you look at Mrs. Williams work you can see that she loves what she does. I’ve learned how to appreciate Emerging ADs and those who seek a career in collegiate athletics. It isn’t as easy as most fans think it is and just because she was a former player doesn’t mean that it helped her transition smoothly into athletic administration. I decided early on in my career that this was not the move for me, but Mrs. Williams is definitely someone who has been on my radar since I’ve been in the sports industry. Below you get to meet her family and learn that she is a wife & mother of three beautiful children.
“I do understand and appreciate the historic nature of me being named athletics director of the University of Virginia,” Williams said. “I have served as a role model throughout my career as a student-athlete, as a coach, and as an administrator…for anyone who aspires to be in this position, it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, male or female…the most important thing you need to know is I am the athletics director at the University of Virginia because I have always done more than what was expected of me.”
She is definitely a role model and I wish her nothing but the best at the University of Virginia. I feel like UGA let a great one go!