Vanderbilt athletics director David Williams stepping down

Posted at 3:54 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 17:54:58-04

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    NASHVILLE, TENN. (WSMV) — David Williams II announced Tuesday he will be stepping down from his role as vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director at Vanderbilt University.

Williams served in the role for 15 years. He was the university’s first African-American vice chancellor.

Williams originally planned to step down at the end of the 2017-2018 school year but stayed for an extra year to help with the transition process, according to the university.

Williams’ successor has not been named yet.

After his replacement is in place, Williams will become a full-time tenured professor at the Vanderbilt Law School.

“David is a visionary leader and has helped lead a transformation at Vanderbilt, both within athletics and across the entire university,” said Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos in a news release. “We are all deeply grateful for his commitment to build a program where student athletes thrive on and off the field – competing in one of the nation’s toughest athletics conferences, flourishing within a rigorous academic environment, and developing the leadership qualities that will bolster their success and impact beyond Vanderbilt.”

Williams issued this statement about his decision:

Last year after spending over 25 years as a senior administrator at two major institutions of higher education – 18 of which were at Vanderbilt, I felt it was time to step away and return to my first love of teaching and let others enjoy these amazing administrative opportunities. In my discussion with Chancellor Zeppos, I agreed to remain for up to one additional year to make sure we were on solid ground and to ensure a smooth transition.

After presenting the championship rings to our two-time national championship women’s bowling team and watching our football team (2-0) and women’s soccer team (7-1) get off to great season starts, I realized this was the time to officially announce that this will be my final year and I will be stepping down as Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director.

I want to thank Chancellor Zeppos and the Vanderbilt Board of Trust for this outstanding opportunity and to also thank the amazing Commodore fans for their support and love of our student athletes. A special thanks goes to my wonderful colleagues in athletics as well as my colleagues in other parts of this great university. Very special thanks goes out to the great team of coaches we have here at Vanderbilt, who are a special group of men and women who not only coach but educate and develop our young people.

A huge thanks and love goes out to the hundreds of student athletes I have had the pleasure to be associated with as the head of this department. As I have always stated to you, ‘You are the Best of the Best.’ It has been my true pleasure to be a small part of your life. Finally my largest thanks goes out to my wife, Gail; my four children, Erika, David III, Samantha and Nicholas; my six grandchildren, David IV, Jazmin, Tiffany, Dayon, Daiaha and Zoe; my great grandson, Desmond, and my entire family and friends. Thank you for your total support and for allowing me to do this and pursuit these opportunities. I love you guys.

I look forward to taking some time to travel to some places I have wanted to visit and to do some things I have put on hold. I am excited to return to teaching, which is one of my first loves, and to do some research and writing in the areas of law, sports, society and social justice as well as leading the Sports, Law and Society initiative at our Law School. I think I will take up the offer from Coach Allen and Coach Limbaugh and see if I can develop some degree of a golf game with their excellent instruction. While I definitely want to spend more time with my family, and hopefully improve and finish my work on Motown music, I plan on getting even more involved in our local community and nonprofit work in the city. I plan on remaining busy.

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