A trailblazing pioneer in SEC athletics is getting set to call it a career.
Vanderbilt announced Tuesday that David Williams is stepping down from his posts of athletic director and vice chancellor. The 70-year-old Williams will continue on in his current roles until a successor is named and in place.
Per the university, Williams, the first African-American athletic director in SEC history, had originally planned to step down at the end of the 2017-18 academic year, but has decided to remain for up to a year until a replacement is found.
“David is a visionary leader and has helped lead a transformation at Vanderbilt, both within athletics and across the entire university,” Vanderbilt chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said in a statement. “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.”
“I am incredibly appreciative that David agreed to extend his service up to a year to enable a successful transition. We will immediately begin our search for a new athletics director who can build on the foundation David has laid for generations of Commodores to come.”
Williams has overseen Vanderbilt athletics for 15 years. During that time, he also served as a tenured professor at Vanderbilt’s law school; Williams will continue in that role full-time once he sheds his athletics responsibilities.
During Williams’ tenure in the athletics department, Vandy claimed national championships in baseball, bowling and women’s tennis. The Commodores football team has played in five bowl games during Williams’ time in Nashville, breaking a 26-year drought in 2008.
As expected, Deondre Francois’ winding college football journey won’t be leading him to one Conference USA school as his next stop.
In late May, it was reported that Francois would be walking on at Florida Atlantic and playing for Lane Kiffin‘s Owls; a month later, it was reported that Francois likely wouldn’t be joining the Owls as a walk-on, scholarship player or otherwise. In officially putting this particular subject to bed, Kiffin confirmed late last week that the quarterback will not be transferring into his FAU program.
Instead, it’s still expected that Francois will continue his playing career at the FCS level, although that has yet to be confirmed.
Earlier this offseason, Florida State announced that Francois had been dismissed from the football program after a social media post brought to light an alleged domestic incident between the quarterback and his ex-girlfriend. A day later, the alleged victim in that incident posted an apology on her Instagram account, stating that the release “of the video was to scare him” and that she was seeking “closure and attention from him after we broke up but I couldn’t get it from him. The only way to get his attention was through Instagram and spiteful actions.”
Not long after that apology was released, however, the alleged victim’s Instagram account was deleted. Shortly after that, the woman’s sister took to the same social media site and claimed that her sibling’s Instagram account had been hacked, intimating that the apology that was posted was fake.
The Tallahassee Police Department subsequently determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue domestic-violence charges against Francois. The one-time starting quarterback for the Seminoles went on to enter his name into the NCAA transfer database not long after his dismissal was confirmed.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy can drop some good zingers at any given moment. But his son, Gunnar Gundy, was on the receiving end of one of the all-time lines that is incredibly difficult to respond to.
When asked about the possibility of coaching his son at Oklahoma State, the head coach of the Cowboys stressed he would coach Gunnar just as he would any other player in the program. That means no preferential treatment even though there is a family bond in place. That is when Riley took the idea to another level.
As transcribed by The Oklahoman;
“When asked how he would coach his son, Gunnar, if the situation arose: “I told him, if you come to Oklahoma State, I’ll coach you like I do everybody else… If you’re the best player, you’ll play. If not, you won’t play — even though I’m sleeping with your mom.”
That is quite the classic recruiting sales pitch from the head coach of the Pokes. It’s certainly not a recruiting pitch that would work any other recruit. Or is it? We’ll stray from traveling down that path for now.
Gunnar Gundy is entering his senior year of high school football. As you would probably suspect, Oklahoma State is considered to be one of the favorites to land the quarterback. Gunnar could potentially follow in his father’s footsteps in Stillwater, as the current head coach is also a former quarterback for Oklahoma State.
Helmet sticker to Pistols Firing.
Baylor head coach Matt Rhule had a rough weekend. The head coach of the Bears had his truck stolen from the parking lot of a hotel. But rest assured, Rhule made it known that would not prevent him from getting to where he needed to be.
Rhule took to Twitter with a message to the party responsible for his stolen truck, confirming he would still find a way to attend an event organized by the Texas High School Coaches Association at Rice University.
As promised by Rhule, he made it to the event in Houston.
But it wasn’t just a truck that was stolen from Rhule either. Inside the truck was a set of golf clubs that didn’t belong to him, as noted by Baylor assistant coach Joey McGuire.
There is no indication at this time if the truck has or will be recovered. The same goes for the golf clubs. In the meantime, Rhule will have to keep on going about his business as he prepares for a new college football season with Baylor.
DJ Durkin has rarely been seen, at least in the football sense, since Halloween, when he was fired by Maryland’s board one day after being reinstated. He briefly appeared as a consultant at Alabama, a move Nick Saban was forced to immediately defend, and not a peep has been heard from Durkin sense.
The Atlanta Falcons have brought the disgraced coach aboard as a guest coach for training camp, the team has announced.
Durkin and Falcons head coach Dan Quinn worked together at Florida, where the latter was Will Muschamp‘s defensive coordinator and Durkin the special teams coordinator. Quinn coached with Durkin in 2011-12 before leaving for the same job with the Seattle Seahawks; Durkin was promoted to serve as Quinn’s replacement.
Asked by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution if he had any reservations about brining in Durkin, Quinn said, “I didn’t probably because I know who the person is having coached with him before. So, I knew his background as a defensive coach and special teams. By doing our due diligence from there. … An unfortunate situation, of course, but as far as eyes to look at the defense to help us, I definitely knew the advantage of that.”
The team said Durkin will watch practice for 10 days and consult with the Falcons’ coaching staff; he will not have any direct interaction with players.
“I know DJ first hand,” Quinn said. “I know what he is as a coach. I know what his character is. We did all of our due diligence, calling everybody at Maryland and had our own follow up.”