Photo by Matt Riley/UVA Athletics
Former professional basketball player Carla Williams is making history off the court as the new athletic director for the University of Virginia Cavaliers. In this role, Williams will be the first Black woman to oversee an athletics department at a Power Five School.
The Pittsburgh Courier reports that Williams, who served 13 years in the athletics department at the University of Georgia, received a five-year contract paying $550,000 per year, plus incentives.
“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to lead one of the nation’s elite athletics programs,” Essence.com reports Williams saying in a statement. “Academic achievement, athletic excellence, operating with integrity, a commitment to maximum effort at all times and a strong sense of teamwork and unity are the core principles that will guide our athletics department under my leadership.”
In addition to being the only African American athletic female director among the 64 schools that compete in the Power Five conference, Williams is also only the fifth active female director to compete in the conference.
After playing as an All-Southern Conference guard for the Georgia Bulldogs between 1985 and 1989, Williams went on to play professional basketball in Spain. Afterwards, she continued to build her resume by earning a Ph.D. from Florida State and working in the athletics department at Vanderbilt and University of Georgia. She was also the first African American athletic director in ACC history.
Williams is set to step into her historic role at UVA this December or January.