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The Virginian - Pilot (Norfolk, VA.)



University of Georgia athletics administrator Carla Williams was named Virginia's director of athletics, U.Va. president Teresa Sullivan announced Sunday.

Williams succeeds Craig Littlepage, who has served as the Cavaliers' athletic director for the past 16 years.

Williams becomes the first female African American AD at a Power 5 school and is the fifth active female AD at that level.

Williams, 49, agreed to a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $550,000, plus incentives.

"The University of Virginia is excited to welcome Carla Williams to lead our athletics department," Sullivan said in a statement. "Her experience as a successful student-athlete, coach and senior administrator at the highest levels of Division I athletics is impressive. Equally impressive is her commitment to education and the academic pursuits of student-athletes."

Williams has been an athletics administrator at Georgia for the past 13 years, most recently serving as the deputy director of athletics since 2015.

During Williams' tenure at Georgia, its teams won 16 NCAA team championships and 37 SEC titles.

In her role as deputy AD at Georgia, Williams was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department and its $127 million budget. She served as administrator for the Bulldogs' football and women's basketball programs and had supervisory responsibility for academic support services, business operations, compliance, event management, external operations, facilities and new construction, human resources, sports facilitators (21 sports and 15 head coaches), sports medicine, strength and conditioning, student services and ticketing.

"I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to lead one of the nation's elite athletics programs," Williams said. "Academic achievement, athletic excellence, operating with integrity, a commitment to maximum effort at all times and a strong sense of teamwork and unity are the core principles that will guide our athletics department under my leadership."

Since 2011, Williams has helped oversee $162 million in facility additions, upgrades and improvements for the Georgia athletics program.

She serves as the Georgia Athletic Association's liaison to the president's office, provost's office, general counsel, equal opportunity office and student affairs. She also serves as the athletics department's deputy Title IX officer.

Williams has a background of competing, coaching and administering at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics. She was an All-SEC guard on the basketball court, then helped recruit and coach some of the greatest teams in Georgia's history before moving on to become one of the highest-ranking female administrators in Division I athletics.

"I am excited to partner with Carla Williams in building an exceptional football program and developing our student-athletes to their fullest potential," Cavaliers football coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

"This is an exciting time in U.Va. athletics, and I look forward to working with Carla Williams," men's basketball coach Tony Bennett said. "Her vast experiences as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator at top Power 5 schools are impressive. The people I respect in the coaching profession who have worked under Carla could not have given her a better endorsement."

Williams began her administrative career at Georgia in 2004. She served as associate AD (2004-2008), senior associate AD (2008-2011) and executive associate AD (2011-15) before being promoted to her present position.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs' staff, Williams was an assistant AD at Vanderbilt (2000-03) and an associate AD (2003-04). She oversaw 11 men's and women's sports as well as the Commodores' CHAMPS/Life Skills program.

From 1997-98, Williams was coordinator for student-athlete development and life skills at Florida State. While completing her doctorate in sport administration, Williams was a graduate assistant for athletic academic support from 1998-2000.

Williams received her bachelor's degree in sociology and master's in public administration from Georgia in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Following her undergraduate graduation, she played professionally in Spain in 1989.

A native of LaGrange, Ga., Williams was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs from 1987-89. She finished her career with 1,115 points, 425 assists and 285 steals. Those tallies ranked No. 10, No. 2 and No. 3 among Georgia's career leaders at the completion of her career.

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October 23, 2017


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