OWENSBORO, Ky. — David Williams has been chosen to be Kentucky Wesleyan College’s new athletic director, KWC president Dr. Craig Turner announced.
The former AD at Missouri Western State and Wisconsin-Parkside brings 20 years of intercollegiate athletic experience including 12 in administration and 10 as a director.
“David’s reputation as a national leader in NCAA Division II athletics administration is unparallel,” Turner said. “His peers consider him as one of the top 10 mentors in the profession. He has an incredibly strong record of building winning programs with the highest degree of integrity and academic excellence.”
“His passion for the student-athletes having a positive experience on the competitive field and in the classroom placed him over the top. We are very fortunate to have a person of this caliber join ‘Team KWC.’”
Williams is no stranger to his new institution.
“I’m very familiar with Kentucky Wesleyan College, the athletic staff, the fans and the tradition since my days at Wisconsin-Parkside as a fellow Great Lakes Valley Conference member,” Williams said. “This is the right time and the right place for myself and my family. KWC has all the ingredients for many future successes in all sports.
“It is extremely important to me that student-athletes enjoy their college experience. I applaud their dedication and drive to be successful in their sport, in the classroom and in the community. It is my responsibility to ensure their experience is a great one to remember for the rest of their lives.”
Williams, 42, served as president of the Division II Athletic Directors for three years. During his tenure he co-authored the ‘Division II Model Athletic Department.’ The document is still used today by the NCAA as they assist colleges and universities seeking to transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II.
He graduated from the prestigious Sports Management Institute. The Institute addresses key areas for the athletic administrators in collegiate, amateur or professional sports including management strategy, legal and ethical behavior, marketing, media relations and management of financial, physical and human resources.
At Missouri Western, Williams’ secured funding, approximately $19.3 million, to build an 118,000 square-foot indoor practice facility, new practice fields, 2,000-seat football stadium expansion to bring the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs summer training camp to campus and also construct a spring sports complex.
The Griffons participated in two postseason football bowl games, men’s basketball went to the NCAA South Central Regional, and softball won the conference title to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament while women’s basketball, women’s soccer and volleyball all doubled their win totals from previous seasons.
His student-athletes attained the highest grade-point average of any department as 55.4 percent of the group surpassed a 3.0 grade-point average. The Griffon athletes won the Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association award for surpassing the graduation rate of the total student body by the largest percentage.
The Griffons also won the NCAA’s National Community Engagement Award for “A Night Out on the Griffs” and raising $1,000 annually by the student-athletes for the “Make-A-Wish Foundation.”
MWSU and the City of St. Joseph co-hosted national championships for both NCAA Division II women’s basketball (twice) and softball.
During Williams’ tenure at Wisconsin-Parkside, the Rangers earned trips to the NCAA tournament 19 times in 13 different sports while winning 12 GLVC championships.
His facility improvements were major as he was part of a $12 million expansion of the Sports and Activity Center including new state-of-the-art scoreboards and the first videoboard in the region for DeSimone Gym. The baseball and softball fields also received new chairback seats, scoreboards and new dugouts.
The grade-point average of the UWP student-athletes was consistently higher than the student body at-large where they consistently exceeded the 3.0 GPA mark each semester. Overall the grade-point average, retention rate and graduation rate for student-athletes all far surpassed the rest of the student body.
Williams lured many high-profile events to the UWP campus, including the NCAA Division I fencing national championship, and the NCAA Division II national wrestling championship along with the NAIA Cross Country Championships. The university also hosted a many conference and regional championships in several sports.
Prior to his promotion as Rangers director, Williams served as assistant AD for marketing and operations. He also served as UWP head men’s golf coach and top assistant basketball coach. He also made stops as assistant basketball coach at North Dakota State and Augustana (Ill.).
The native of Prospect Hills, Ill. is a graduate of Augustana College (Ill.), with a degree in education. He earned a master’s degree in educational administration from North Dakota State.