New Athletic Director Appointed

Wittenberg University has a new athletic director. Beginning June 1, Gary Williams will assume the role and responsibilities of Garrett Purnell, whose 14 year career ended this year with his retirement.

Williams hails from Carthage College, an NCAA Division III neighbor located in Wisconsin, where he was the associate Director of Athletics while also holding the title of Director of the Center for Student Success. Carthage being his undergraduate alma mater, Williams took up employment with the institution in 1997, shortly after his graduation, and his since worked a number of jobs for Kenosha College.

As a student, Williams finished his undergraduate stint with Carthage in 1996 with a degree in chemistry. From there, he went on to pursue multiple advanced degrees in higher education all the while working for the college, ultimately earning his PhD in Leadership in Higher Education in 2010 from Cardinal Stitch University.

His current duties as Director for the Center for Student Success center are geared towards enriching the experiences of Carthage students in order to increase the retention rate and to create a better campus environment. In just one year in the position, Williams increased the campus retention rate from 73 percent to 81 percent, an accomplishment that was able to yield considerable profits for the college. The emphasis on crafting programs that cater to the appeal of the student body will no doubt be met positively by Wittenberg’s athletic community. Athletics have long had a strong tradition at Wittenberg, but maybe with addition of Williams, teams at Wittenberg can expect to see greater numbers that lead to success on the field in addition to an increased display of Tiger spirit in the stands.

In addition, to being the associate Director of Athletics at Carthage since 1997, Williams has exceptional experience in NCAA athletics. He currently holds a chair position on the NCAA Division III men’s volleyball committee and has been the commissioner of the Continental volleyball conference since it was founded.

With a track record in expanding and improving the athletic program, Williams will have new ideas to bring to the table at Wittenberg, which has an athletics department that has long been very involved and boasted an incredibly high percentage of student participation. The prospects of what lies ahead for Tiger Nation under this new leadership will be watched by students.

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