Virginia has hired Georgia deputy athletic director Carla Williams to succeed Craig Littlepage as the Cavaliers’ athletic director, sources said Saturday night.
A formal announcement is expected Sunday afternoon.
Williams, who was expected to become the next athletic director at Georgia, will be the lone African-American woman athletic director in the Power Five conferences. She also will be the first head of the Virginia athletic department since Dick Schultz who is without close ties to the university.
Shultz, who guided the department from 1981-87, came to Virginia from Cornell. He was succeeded by three consecutive directors with UVa connections: Jim Copeland, who played football for the Cavaliers and later worked for the Virginia Athletics Foundation; Terry Holland, the school’s longtime head basketball coach; and Littlepage, who was both an assistant basketball coach and a UVa assistant athletic director under both Copeland and Holland.
Littlepage has been UVa’s athletic director for the past 16 years and became the first African-American AD in ACC history.
According to two sources, finalists for the AD position were called to Boston for interviews with incoming UVa president James Ryan, the dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. UVa’s current president, Teresa A. Sullivan, informed finalists of the decision Saturday afternoon.
Williams is a 1989 Georgia graduate who has overseen the Bulldogs’ football program as the top lieutenant for UGa athletic director Greg McGarity. According to sources, Virginia football alumni were pushing hard for someone with a football background to move into the job.
Williams, a former professional basketball player, not only oversees Georgia football but also its women’s basketball program, and she has supervisory responsibility for academic support services, business operations, compliance, event management, external operations, facilities, human resources, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, student services and ticketing.
An All-SEC guard for the Lady Bulldogs from 1985-89, Williams, née Green, played professionally in Spain in 1989. Williams joined Andy Landers’ Georgia women’s basketball staff from 1991-96 as an assistant coach. Two of those teams reached the Final Four.
After a stint as an assistant coach, Williams moved into athletic administration, serving as the school’s assistant director of compliance before climbing in the administrative ranks at Florida State, Vanderbilt, and Georgia.
She was hired at Vanderbilt University by former UVa assistant athletic director Todd Turner, who works with Korn Ferry, a consultant firm hired by Virginia to help with its search.