Empowering Young Professionals of Color

Name: Vaughn Williams

Title: Director of Athletics

Contact: @KennesawStateAD

Company: Kennesaw State University

What They Do: Administrator. A potential maker.  Serves student athletes and serves them like a ministry.  Helps them to fulfill their potential.  

Originally From: Central New Jersey

College: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Field of Study: Originally wanted to be an engineer, but graduated with a degree in sport management

Recommended Books: 

Listen in to the interview:

A Few Notes From the Show:

  • He is preparing leaders in all aspects of their lives.
  • Great perspective on where athletics and winning games fits into the equation.
  • We talk about why he chose sports.
  • He was in an engineering program in college but wasn’t happy. He always had a passion about sports.
  • Didn’t get any internships after graduations so moved to Atlanta (the Olympics were coming in 4 years).
  • Sent out 350 letters trying to get a sports job.  Ended up selling cars for 2 months.
  • We talk about taking an internship in Utah at a place that wasn’t very diverse.
  • Wasn’t going to Utah for a social life, was going their to start his career.
  • Talks about the lack of exposure to different cultures and how that plays into what we believe.
  • Got a full time position at Utah and became the CFO for the athletic department.
  • After Utah went to the University of Toledo as the Associate AD of Business Affairs.
  • Took the Toledo position as a challenge and to see what he could do and what he could do without his mentor right there.
  • Then went to Boston College as the Assistant AD for Event Management, Championships & Facilities (he was the first to have the position).  It was work he hadn’t done before but he took a risk.  It was a great opportunity to learn the craft and to be under a great leader.
  • Got his master’s degree while he was there. Was there for 6.5yrs.
  • Then he got a call to be at the University of Connecticut as an Associate AD.  Was there for 6 years.
  • Then became the AD for Kennesaw State.  Going on his 5th year at the time of this recording.
  • His mentors at Utah did not look like him but they invested in him.
  • Talk about one of his mentors who was really honest with him by telling Vaughn that things were going to be different than what he was used to.
  • We talk about confidence and we talk about environment.
  • We have a responsibility
  • You have to know your “why?”
  • Believes we are all called to excellence.
  • One of the beauty of college athletics is that there is only one way to get in.
  • “Don’t bring checker pieces to a chess game; and life is a chess game.”

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