National Institute on Aging

David Williams II to Be Honored Posthumously by the National Collegiate Athletic Association

The late David Williams II, the former athletic director at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, is the 2020 winner of the NCAA president’s Pat Summitt Award. Named in recognition of Pat Summitt, the legendary women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, the award recognizes an individual in the association’s membership who has demonstrated devotion to the development of college athletes and has made a positive impact on their lives.

After 18 years, David Williams II stepped down from his post as vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director at Vanderbilt University in Nashville on January 31, 2019 to return to a faculty position at the university’s law school. He died on February 8 at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center after collapsing at a local restaurant while having breakfast. He was 71 years old.

Williams was the first African American to serve as a vice chancellor at Vanderbilt. He also was the first African American to serve as an athletics director in the Southeastern Conference. A native of Detroit, Professor Williams was a two-time graduate of Northern Michigan University. He held an MBA and a juris doctorate from the University of Detroit and a master of law degree in taxation from New York University.

“He was an exemplary leader who worked tirelessly for the benefit of all college athletes in all facets of their lives — in their sports, but also in their academics and development outside of sports,” NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a statement.

Gail Williams will accept the award on behalf of her late husband at the NCAA Convention in Anaheim, California


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