Gary Williams

Gary Williams

  • Title:
    Vice President and Director of Athletics & Recreation
  • Phone:
  • Email:
  • Previous College:
    Carthage, 1996
  • Office:
    HPER Lobby

Gary Williams, Ph.D., became Wittenberg University's Director of Athletics and Recreation on June 1, 2014. Williams was then promoted to Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation by University President, Dr. Michael Frandsen, on December 5, 2018.

Williams replaced Garnett Purnell, who retired after 14 years in the position. Williams arrived in Springfield after working in a variety of positions at his alma mater, Carthage College, from 1997-2014.

Career Synopsis

  • In December of 2018, promoted to Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation.
  • Named Wittenberg’s Director of Athletics and Recreation in June 2014.
  • Associate Athletic Director Carthage College, February 2009 to January 2013.
  • Served as the Director of Student-Athlete Services and Academic Advising at Carthage from 2003 to 2013, along with instructing multiple classes in the Exercise and Sport Science department.
  • Started career as a residence hall director and assistant football, and track and field coach at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1996 before becoming an assistant football coach at Carthage in 1997.

Administrative Highlights

  • Overseeing the most significant transformation of Wittenberg’s athletic facilities with a $40 million historic restoration, renovation and building project that is set to open in Fall 2019
  • Athletic teams consistently ranked in the top-four of the NCAC All-Sports standing and in the top-20% in the country in the Division III Learfield Sports Director’s Cup.
  • Since 2014, teams have won 17 NCAC Championships with four Top-3 NCAA finishes.
    • Wittenberg Men’s Golf won the 2017 Division III National Championship.
    • Wittenberg Women’s Volleyball national runners-up in fall of 2017.
  • Created clear recruiting goals and processes that have netted an average of 200 new students each year, increasing athletic participation by 110 since 2014 and improving metrics in GPA, graduation and retention rates of student-athletes to higher than the all-college average.
  • Added revenue streams to athletic department through corporate sponsorships, apparel vendor contract, concessions and gameday sales, and donor pledges.
  • Increased annual giving to athletics on average by $50,000 over the past three years.
  • Improved alumni and community participation, giving, and stewardship through the University’s Tiger Club.
  • Initiated and oversaw the completion of additional facility upgrades, such as: New athletic turf, redesign of the track surface, pool upgrades, outdoor track practice facilities, softball stadium renovations and tennis court resurfacing.
  • Helped launch a new website redesign and improved social media presence for athletic department.
  • Assisted the Provost and Health, Fitness, and Sport department with creation of a master’s in coaching.
  • Selected as the national chairmen of the NCAA’s Division III Sportsmanship & Game Environment working group, a member of the Step Up! Advisory Board, and currently serving a three-year term on the NCAA’s division wide Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP)


  • Received his Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Carthage College in 1996.
  • Completed his Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Counseling and Sport Administration while working at Carthage in 2002.
  • Continued his education earning a Doctorate in Philosophy, in 2010, focusing on Leadership in Higher Education


  • Resides in Springfield, Ohio with his wife, Carrie, and two daughters, Brynn and Devyn.
  • Native of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Kiwanis Club of Springfield
  • Has served as a counselor and instructor for over 25 years for the Badger Boys State leadership program: