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Williams Named Athletics Director

Bobby Williams has been named as director of athletics at Sam Houston State University, Dr. Thelma J. Douglass, vice president of student services, announced today.

Williams, who has served as interim director of athletics for SHSU since July 18, 1997, previously was the Bearkat assistant athletics director for six years and served nine seasons as secondary coach for the SHSU football team.

"Bobby Williams has demonstrated that he has the leadership, dedication, integrity, and vision to be an outstanding intercollegiate director of athletics," said Dr. Douglass. "Both the university and the athletics department face many challenges in the future. Bobby Williams' expertise in athletics will launch the athletic program to another level as we approach the 21st century. His approach to advancement, student participation, teamwork, and winning in the academic field and athletics field are exemplary of his tenacity to succeed. He believes in co-curriculum activities and community involvement which complement the academic curriculum. I feel we are fortunate to receive a person of his caliber to lead and direct the athletics department."

During the past nine months as interim director of athletics, Williams has increased both campus ;and community attendance at all Sam Houston State intercollegiate athletic events with the "Operation: Pack the House" program.

Also under his direction, the new Bearkat Learning Enhancement Center, located in the Bowers Stadium Field House, opened last fall. The facility allows Bearkat student-athletes access both to the Sam Houston State computer system and to assistance from academic tutors. The Learning Enhancement Center is the latest addition to the Bearkats' academic support system for Sam Houston State student-athletes which has helped spur the overall grade point average for SHSU athletes to 2.58, a mark higher than the general student population at Sam Houston State.

During his six years as assistant athletics director, Williams' duties included NCAA compliance, game management for home athletic contests, scheduling, facilities, tickets, marketing and concessions. During his nine years as a football coach, Williams had four cornerbacks drafted by National Football League teams. He was a starter at wide receiver for the Rice Owls. He received his bachelor's degree from Rice University in 1981 and his master's from Rice a year later. His wife, Janet, received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Sam Houston State. The pair have two daughters, Audrey Kathryn, 8, and Alexandra, 4.

"Becoming a director of athletics has been a lifetime goal," said Williams. "This past nine months as interim director has been very rewarding and we're looking forward to meeting the challenges of the future of Bearkat athletics."

Williams becomes the 12th director of athletics at Sam Houston State. Previous directors have included Ronnie Choate (1992-'97), Robert L. Case (1990-'92), Ron Randleman (1982-'90), James Chase (1979-'82), Billy Tidwell (1974-'79), Harold Fischer (1972-'74), Jack Williams (1969-'72), Paul Pierce (1952-'69), T. F. Wilson (1938-'52), Joe Kirk (1936-'38), and J. W. Jones (1923-'36).

Media Contact: Paul Ridings
April 29, 1998
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