Williamson announces retirement
March 2, 2011
Phil Williamson, Athletic Director at LaGrange
College, has announced his retirement effective July 1. He has served
for 42 years as a coach, athletic director and faculty member.
Williamson said he has enjoyed his 51 years in education, first as a
teacher and coach at Troup High School, and later at the college.
“I’m proud of all the young men and women I’ve
had the privilege of teaching and coaching,” he said. “Their success is
the reason I’ve taught and coached for this long. It seems like only
yesterday I began my career.”
College President Dan McAlexander praised Williamson’s impact on the institution, its students and this community.
“Phil has always been a passionate advocate for
our student-athletes,” he said. “His positive influence and encouraging
heart has touched countless lives, and his tireless efforts have
helped elevate Panther athletics to an unprecedented level.”
Under Williamson, the LaGrange College athletics
program has grown substantially, from three squads (men’s and women’s
tennis, men’s basketball) to the present 16 teams, playing in nine
different intercollegiate sports. In recent years, the school has added
women’s basketball (1999), football (2006) and women’s lacrosse
Williamson led the school’s transition from the
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to becoming a member
of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III in 2002. He
also was instrumental in the creation of the Great South Athletic
Conference, of which LaGrange was a charter member and which Williamson
serves as commissioner.
He began his career at LaGrange in 1969 as the
athletic director, head of the Health and Physical Education
Department, intramural director and head tennis coach. He was named the
head basketball coach prior to the 1974-75 academic year. Williamson
was the head basketball coach for seven seasons, winning the Georgia
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament championship once and
being named the GIAC Coach of the Year.
In 1984, Williamson started the school’s baseball program and remained the head coach until 1996.
Williamson has served as an Associate
Professor of Health and Physical Education and the Chair of the
college’s Health and Physical Education Department. He holds bachelor’s
and master’s degrees from Troy University.