KSU's Williams looking forward to opportunities

“By Doug Roberson The Atlanta Journal-Constitution What some people call challenges facing…

Georgia (Apr 13, 2011) — “By Doug Roberson


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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What some people call challenges facing Kennesaw State’s athletic department, incoming athletic director Vaughn Williams called opportunities at his introductory news conference Tuesday.

We have an opportunity to be excellent in the next class we take, community we serve, or shot or goal we take,” said Williams, who was hired to lead the Owls after spending the past 6 ½ years as an associate AD at Connecticut. “We can advance excellence in all these ways.”

Among the opportunities for Williams is the hiring of a new basketball coach. Some candidates are expected to be interviewed this week. Florida State assistant Corey Williams is a candidate, according to a person familiar with the Florida State basketball program. Former Georgia Tech standout Mark Price may interview as well, according to a person familiar with the Kennesaw State coaching search. Neither Williams nor Price’s agent would comment on the specifics of the search.

Williams did say he has no preference regarding previous experience as a coach and has no timetable, but he wants someone with integrity who can teach and lead.

“There are a lot of head coaches who can’t do both,” he said. Kennesaw State President Daniel Papp said the decision will be Williams’ to make. Former coach Tony Ingle was fired last month.

Other "opportunities" for Williams include:

-- Improving the academic performance of the men’s basketball team. One of the reasons that Ingle was fired was his team’s poor performance in the classroom. The team has failed to meet the NCAA’s minimum standards in the Academic Progress Rate. Kennesaw State could lose two scholarships and practice time as penalties when the next APR scores are released later this year.

“I feel like we are in good shape with academic support,” Williams said. “It’s really about the leader we are going to hire who believes in the value of Kennesaw State. They will get the student-athletes who want to go to class. The right leader is what we are after.”

-- Fundraising and overseeing the improvements to Kennesaw State’s facilities in anticipation of starting football, possibly as early as 2014. Williams has extensive experience in strategic planning, facility master plans and policy and procedure improvements. Papp said the school is trying to raise at least $8 million, per a recommendation made by Vince Dooley and his exploratory committee for football, as well as adding women’s teams in undecided sports to comply with Title IX requirements.

Dooley, a former Georgia athletic director and football coach, attended the news conference at Kennesaw State’s request and said he liked what he heard from Williams. Dooley played no part in the hiring process, which was aided by a search firm.

More than 100 candidates applied for the Kennesaw State AD job, which came open when David Waples resigned in August after more than 23 years at the school.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu