East Central University is going within the family to hire its new director of athletics.
“We received numerous qualified applications from all over,” said ECU President John Hargrave. “But at the end of the day we decided that the best person for the job was right here on campus. We are very excited to have found such an outstanding person. He really encompasses everything we were looking for.”
Dr. Jeff S. Williams, who has served as chair of ECU’s Department of Kinesiology for the past two years, will assume the director of athletics post, beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
“I really appreciate this opportunity,” said Williams. “I look forward to continuing the successful progress of the ECU athletic programs. I believe in the NCAA Division II philosophy – equally balancing athletics and academics for the student-athlete. Our ultimate goal is for our student-athletes to earn their degrees. I believe we have coaches and student-athletes that appreciate and embrace this balanced approach.”
Prior to serving as chair of ECU’s Kinesiology Department, Williams was director of ECU’s Athletic Training Education Program, Coordinator of the Master of Secondary Education – Sports Administration Program at ECU and head athletic trainer at the Ada institution.
Williams, who has served as an assistant professor and was tenured at ECU in 2012, received his doctorate of philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in 2011, master of human relations from OU in 1999 and a bachelor of science in health and sports sciences from OU, with an emphasis on exercise science, in 1996.
He attended ECU from 1991-1993.
He replaces Matt McGaha, who has served as the interim director of athletics since August.
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Williams and his wife Shelly (Jeter) both graduated from Latta High School, and she also attended ECU. Shelly is currently the speech language pathologist for Latta. They have three children – Jace, 13; Kale, 9; and Kate, 7.
“We came back here 14 years ago to raise our family. The people are what make ECU and Ada great,” Williams said. “The future of ECU athletics looks great. I appreciate President Hargrave placing his trust in me to lead the program.”