Another ceiling has been shattered, this time in Virginia.
The University of Virginia has announced that Carla Williams has become the school's new athletic director, becoming the first African American female AD in the power five conferences.
Excited to announce Carla Williams as our new director of athletics. Welcome to UVA! Press Release: https://t.co/HeLGdE6d7y
In a statement, University President Teresa Sullivan was thrilled to announce Williams' hiring.
“The University of Virginia is excited to welcome Carla Williams to lead our athletics department,” Sullivan said. “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. Carla will also be a dynamic contributor to the University and Charlottesville communities.
“President-elect Jim Ryan and I agreed that we needed to work together on the search for UVA’s new athletics director. I appreciate Jim’s assistance and input during the search as we position the athletics department to build on the success it achieved under the leadership of Craig Littlepage.”
Prior to being hired by UVA, Williams was in athletics administration at the University of Georgia for 13 years.
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to lead one of the nation’s elite athletics programs,” Williams said in the statement. “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.
“My career progression is the result of a commitment to education. Athletics provided the opportunity for me to attend the University of Georgia as a first-generation college student and my advanced degrees enabled me to further my growth and develop my career as an athletics administrator. I look forward to serving our student-athletes, coaches, and staff on a daily basis and I am excited to get started.”
According to the release, Williams also becomes the fifth active female athletics director at that level.
“I am excited to partner with Carla Williams in building an exceptional football program and developing our student-athletes to their fullest potential,” head football coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
“This is an exciting time in UVA athletics and I look forward to working with Carla Williams,” head men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett said. “Her vast experiences as a student-athlete, coach, and administrator at top Power Five schools are impressive. The people I respect in the coaching profession who have worked under Carla could not have given her a better endorsement.”
This is a great news to hear, especially following the ugly events in Charlottesville two months ago, a day which marred the city and something that UVA alums such as Tina Fey and Chris Long have been trying to purge.
Congratulations to new AD Carla Williams!