Excitement Surrounds Virginia’s Hiring Of Carla Williams As Director Of Athletics

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Carla Williams comes to Virginia from Georgia.
Virginia introduced Carla Williams as its new Director of Athletics on Monday. ~ Kris Wright

Carla Williams has been officially named the new Director of Athletics at the University of Virginia. Since the news of her hiring broke on October 21, the sentiment regarding her hiring has been overwhelmingly positive. Below is a sampling of the reaction, both inside and outside of UVA, of Williams’ appointment.

Click here to view the full transcript of Williams’ introductory press conference.
Click here to view video excerpts of the press conference.
Click here to view a VirginiaSportsTV feature on Virginia’s new AD.


“The University of Virginia is excited to welcome Carla Williams to lead our athletics department. 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.” – UVA President Theresa Sullivan

“I think Carla is spectacular. She is exceedingly well-prepared for this role, but more than that, she is fiercely committed to excellence in both athletics and academics and has a track record of success in both arenas. I cannot wait to work with Carla, a kindred spirit who sees leadership as a chance to serve those around her and to create the conditions for their success.” – UVA president-elect Jim Ryan

“I have had the pleasure of working for many years with Carla Williams as president, provost and faculty athletics representative. She is an outstanding athletic administrator and importantly a wonderful role model for our student-athletes. I know she will be a superb athletic director for the University of Virginia. I am proud of her accomplishments as one of our exceptional graduates.” – University of Georgia President Jere Morehead

“I just think that she was a presence when she came into the room. She was somebody I think we looked at and said ‘Wow, this is an impressive woman.’ She had great experience. … I think there were a lot of things there at Georgia were very impressive and the ideas she had for the future.” – UVA women’s rowing head coach Kevin Sauer, who was on the AD search committee

“I was really impressed with Carla as a person, not only from a professional standpoint and all the things she’s done preparation-wise and things on the resume that have helped her build her career to this point, but I was very impressed with the communication skills. I think the core principles in which she operates from, and the successes that she’s had. I’m really encouraged.” – UVA head football coach Bronco Mendenhall

Mendenhall continued: “I had also a chance to talk, and Carla said because she supervised Mark Richt, so I had a chance to talk with Mark at Carla’s request, and he also was just really favorable about the kind of person but also the kind of professional and the insight and vision and results that she’s able to get. Not only was I impressed but everything that I’ve heard, and I wouldn’t have reached out to anyone unless she asked me to, and it just has been glowing endorsements, and I’m really excited for the chance to build an exceptional football program, and I think with her experience at the University of Georgia and within that league, there’s some really nice points of reference that I think will be helpful, and so I’m looking forward to partnering with her, and I think it’s an exciting time for UVA.”

“This is an exciting time in UVA athletics and I look forward to working with Carla Williams. 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.” – UVA head men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett

“Carla Williams is someone I have always admired and looked up to. She brings integrity and hard work to whatever she does in life, and Virginia is lucky to have her. For me personally, she is an inspiration. To be the first African-American Athletic Director at an autonomy-5 school speaks to her success as an athletics administrator. More than anything, I am so thankful for the opportunities Carla has given me here at Georgia, and I am honored to call her a friend and mentor.” – University of Georgia women’s basketball coach Joni Taylor

Tweets from the UVA community

More Tweets

From Todd Turner, President and founder of Collegiate Sports Associates and former AD at Washington, Vanderbilt, NC State and UConn …

From Vanderbilt Associate Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Deputy AD, Candice Storey Lee …

From University of Washington Athletic Director Jennifer Cohen …

From Matt Winston, Virginia Tech Senior Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations …

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