Kennesaw State University Introduces UConn’s Vaughn Williams as New Athletic Director

KSU President Daniel S. Papp introduces KSU's new Athletic Director Vaughn A. Williams at a media conference on campus.

Landing of well-respected NCAA Division I administrator is culmination of national search To watch…

Georgia (Apr 12, 2011)Landing of well-respected NCAA Division I administrator is culmination of national search

To watch the press conference, click here.

To view photos from the press conference, click here.

Downloadable photo of Vaughn available at

KENNESAW, Ga. – (April 12, 2011) — Former University of Connecticut Associate Athletic Director Vaughn Williams was introduced today as Kennesaw State University’s new athletic director, bringing more than 17 years of NCAA Division I senior athletic administrative team experience to KSU.

“It was just a couple of years ago, in 2009, that Kennesaw State’s athletics program made the successful transition to NCAA Division one competition,said KSU President Daniel S. Papp.  “We are now ensuring that we will have state-of-the-art facilities and the essential resources to allow us to compete in the top-tier of collegiate athletics.

“We are also embarking on a multi-million dollar fundraising initiative that will be critical to making football part of the KSU athletics program,” Papp continued, “and the person who will lead these important athletic initiatives is Kennesaw State’s new athletic director Vaughn Williams.”

Williams will officially start at Kennesaw State in early May.  In his current role at UConn, Williams is responsible for strategic planning, facility master plans and policy/procedure improvement. He also served as chair of the University of Connecticut Sportsmanship/Fan Environment Initiative Committee, which established the Husky Honor Program.

“I am very honored and excited to become part of the Kennesaw State University family,” Williams said. “Owl Athletics has made incredible progress as it has transitioned from Division II to the Division I level. I look forward to continuing and growing our presence regionally and nationally at the Division 1 level. The entire University is on an upward path toward excellence in all areas and I want athletics to be a key part of the building process. The vision we have is for us to be champions with integrity in academics, in the community and in athletics.”

Last week, Williams was basking in UConn’s third NCAA men’s basketball championship, sealed with a 53-41 win over Butler University.

Williams, who has served for the past six and a half years as UConn’s associate athletic director, joins KSU as the institution embarks on adding football and is in the midst of a search for a new head basketball coach. A four-year letterman in football at the University of Massachusetts, Williams understands the importance of academic success for athletics at KSU.

A national search for a new Kennesaw State athletic director was conducted after David Waples stepped down last August after serving for more than 23 years as the university’s athletic director. The school’s senior associate athletic director and head softball coach, Scott Whitlock, was named by Papp to serve as interim athletic director. 

Thomas H. Keene, a professor of history and interim chair of the university’s Department of History and Philosophy, led the university’s 12-member Athletic Director Search Committee. The panel was composed of students, administrators and faculty. Parker Executive Search assisted the committee’s search, soliciting input from various internal and external constituencies. 

“We were looking for an outstanding individual, one who knew how to run an athletics program at the university level, how to help us build and shape a football program from the ground up,” explained Keene, who also serves as chair of the KSU Athletics Board.

Williams is project manager for all aspects of UConn’s athletic capital projects, including a new practice football facility and a track/field hockey/lacrosse facility. He also has managed a total of $53 million in capital projects for the Huskies to date.

Williams oversees the event management team that provides support to varsity sports, including the hosting of conference or NCAA post-season events. He currently directs the operation and management of 11 campus athletic facilities for 24 varsity sports and 600 student-athletes, as well as the Huskies’ recreational/intramural program, which serves 3,500 participants. In addition, Williams is UConn’s home-game administrator for football and basketball games.

Another major assignment awaiting the new athletic director is the selection of KSU’s men’s basketball coach, to replace long-serving former KSU head basketball coach Tony Ingle.

 # # #

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of more than 23,400 students from 142 countries.


Contact: Robert S. Godlewski,, 770-499-3448


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