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.