Press release from Warren Wilson College:
Warren Wilson College announced last week that Joni Williamson has accepted a position as the Director of Athletics and Adventure Sports. Williamson is excited to implement a new vision for athletics at the college that will expand athletic programing by increasing student athlete enrollment.
Warren Wilson College’s athletic program expansion has already begun by adding a new tennis team in Fall 2018. The newly-renovated Warren Wilson College pool will also reopen in the fall semester, hosting swimming meets again. Williamson wants to increase the rosters for existing teams as well, recruiting more student athletes for basketball, soccer, cross country, swimming and cycling, along with club sports like timbersports and paddling.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to harness the unique culture and community here at Warren Wilson to increase enrollment and diversity through athletic recruitment,” Williamson said.
Williamson hopes to build on Warren Wilson College’s recent national successes. The Warren Wilson cycling team is nationally renowned – the mountain bike team won the 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships and finished in the top five nationally for the past 16 consecutive years. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams competed in the 2018 USCAA DII National Tournament and are no strangers to the national playoffs – they competed multiple times in recent years, including a championship win in 2013.
Williamson is also eager to further solidify Warren Wilson’s current role as a hub for adventure sports nationally. “I started my career in outdoor pursuits, and it gave me a good understanding of adventure sports. I am looking forward to coming back around to the adventure sports aspect of athletics with Warren Wilson, which has strong adventure programming already,” Williamson said.
Williamson most recently served as the Assistant Director for Academic and Membership Affairs with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Prior to that, she was the Associate Athletics Director at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. Williams brings athletic administration experience at both the college and national level, along with coaching, marketing, event facilities operations and outdoor pursuits experience. She is also quick to point out that she was a student athlete herself.
“The culmination of my diverse background has provided me with the experience and skill set to work in partnership with the campus and community to raise the profile of athletics and enhance the culture of excellence at Warren Wilson College,” Williamson said. “I will bring passion, inquisitiveness and vision to Warren Wilson College and assist in developing student athletes to become curious, insightful, experienced and extraordinary individuals.”
“Joni Williamson’s vision for the future of athletics at Warren Wilson aligns with my own,” said Warren Wilson College President Lynn M. Morton. “We want to grow our athletic programs, attract more student athletes and build on the recent momentum of our teams. Joni’s excitement and energy are exactly what we need to meet these goals.”
“I am honored to serve the Warren Wilson College community, and I want to thank President Morton and the search committee for entrusting me to lead the athletics and adventure sports programs,” Williamson said. “I will work together with our great coaches and staff to impact the lives of our student athletes and to build upon our past successes to achieve new heights.”