University of Virginia

Carla Williams
Director of Athletics

Carla Williams

With a background as a student-athlete, coach and administrator, Carla Williams’ approach to leading Virginia is forward thinking. Her focus is on providing opportunities for student-athletes to maximize their college experience while establishing a culture and support system for the sport programs to compete for championships. Above all, her commitment to academic excellence is unwavering.

Williams’ appointment at Virginia in October of 2017made her the first female African-American athletics director at a Power Five conference institution. At the time, she was the fifth active female athletics director at that level. Williams impact at UVA was recognized when she was named the Women Leaders in College Sports 2019 Administrator of the Year for all NCAA Division I FBS athletics programs.

Williams wants student-athletes at UVA to grow, prosper and prepare themselves for their futures away from athletic competitions. To ensure that approach becomes a reality, she announced The Master Plan project in 2018 that will set the course for generations of future Hoos.

During her short tenure as UVA’s athletics director, Williams has witnessed a revival of the Cavalier football program and a history-making performance by the men’s basketball team. Under coach Bronco Mendenhall, UVA’s football program has gone from a two-win season in 2016 to winning the ACC’s Coastal Division in 2019 and playing in the ACC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl.

Recently, Williams worked on the NCAA’s NIL Legislation Solutions Group to examine student-athlete name, image and likeness rights and is a member of the NCAA Federal and State Legislation Working Group.

Prior to Virginia, Williams served as an athletics administrator at the University of Georgia for 13 years and was named deputy director of athletics in 2015.

Williams began her administrative career at Georgia in 2004. She served as associate athletic director (2004-2008), senior associate athletic director (2008-2011) and executive associate athletic director (2011-2015) before being promoted to deputy director of athletics.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs’ staff, Williams was an assistant director of athletics at Vanderbilt (2000-03) and an associate director of athletics (2003-04). From 1997-1998, Williams was coordinator for student-athlete development and life skills at Florida State. While completing her Ph.D. in sport administration, Williams was also a graduate assistant for athletic academic support from 1998-2000.