In this episode, Gary Williams discusses his transition into his first athletics director role and also how he has been managing a presidential transition since his arrival at Wittenberg two and a half years ago.


Gary Williams, Ph.D., became Wittenberg University’s Director of Athletics and Recreation on June 1, 2014.

Williams replaced Garnett Purnell, who retired after 14 years in the position. He arrived in Springfield after working in a variety of positions at his alma mater, Carthage College, from 1997-2014. Most recently, Williams served as director of student success and associate director of athletics at Carthage.

As director of student success and of Carthage’s Center for Student Success, Williams was responsible for the virtual and physical creation of the center, its staff and programming, and he initiated a retention program focusing on emotional advising approaches and intentional interventions. In his role as associate director of athletics, Williams served as director of student-athlete services and is the certification officer.

He oversaw the staff and programs responsible for mentoring and guiding students through their transition to college life and provides support, leadership and direction for students in and out of the classroom and on and off the playing field. Williams also directed Carthage’s CharacterQuest program for student-athletes, a unique teamwork, leadership and character experiential program held each summer, and he was instrumental in efforts to initiate and develop a Leadership Certificate program at Carthage in 2008.

Williams has served on numerous NCAA committees, forums and conferences during his career, including the NCAA NASPA AOD Collaboration Delivery Working Group, for which Wittenberg is a pilot school. Williams, who was the founding commissioner of the Continental Volleyball Conference, has also been the national chair of the NCAA Division III Men’s Volleyball Committee since 2012.

[Courtesy: Wittenberg Athletics]