Kennesaw State’s own Vaughn Williams was named the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year on Thursday, March 2.
Williams was one of 28 winners, award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and spanning seven divisions. The ADOY Award highlights the work of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities.
Since his arrival in May 2011, Williams has made several significant contributions to athletics at KSU. He formed the Kennesaw State Athletics Association, added women’s lacrosse and Division 1 football to KSU’s list of intercollegiate sports, and oversaw the re-branding of KSU Athletics, which included a partnership with Adidas to be the Owls’ official apparel provider.
“I am honored and humbled by this recognition, but this is an Owl Nation award,” Williams said. “It is indicative of the hard work and tireless efforts of our student-athletes, coaches and staff to build a Kennesaw State Athletics brand that we can all take pride in. I am blessed to be surrounded by such passionate individuals and privileged to come to work every day at Kennesaw State University.”
Williams is the first KSU athletic director to receive the ADOY award. Over the past six years under Williams’ reign, the Owls have won 17 conference championships and made 19 NCAA postseason appearances. This includes six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances by men’s golf, the baseball team’s 2014 run at NCAA Super Regional, two ASUN titles by women’s golf and 12 conference titles combined for the track and field programs.
Williams started the OWLS Champions Initiative in 2013, presented by Henssler Financial. This program was built to help student athletes succeed in the classroom, in competition and in their community.
Besides the competition of athletics, Williams also promotes ideals of servant leadership, believing every leader has an obligation to their community and should give back. He also understands that his athletes are students, above all else. During the 2015-16 season, KSU athletes earned a cumulative GPA of 2.97.
Although Williams is busy running the athletics department at KSU, he still finds time to serve his community. Williams was named to the board of MUST Ministries, a volunteer-driven organization that addresses the basic needs of individuals, families and children with facilities in Cobb and Cherokee counties. He also works with The Golden Soldiers, a faith-based nonprofit that aims to remind people to treat others as they would like to be treated.