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 (2010).

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.

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