October 23, 2017
Press Conference Announcing New Director of Athletics Carla Williams
Speakers: Teresa Sullivan (UVA president), Rusty Conner (UVA rector), Carla Williams (incoming UVA director of athletics)
PRESIDENT SULLIVAN: Okay. Thank you very much, and thank you for being with us here this afternoon. This special shout out to those of you on the softball team back there. Thank you for coming.
We’re here today to introduce an important new leader in the UVA community. I’m thrilled to share the news that Carla Williams will become UVA’s new director of athletics.
Carla’s resume is impressive: She has served as an athletics administrator in various roles at the University of Georgia for the past 13 years, most recently as deputy director of athletics. In this role, she’s responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department, which has a budget of $127 million.
Since 2011, she has helped to oversee $162 million in athletics facility additions and upgrades at Georgia.
Carla served as associate athletic director (2004-2008), senior associate athletic director (2008-2011), and executive associate athletic director (2011-2015) before being promoted to her current position at Georgia.
Carla has also served as the Georgia Athletic Association’s liaison to the president’s office, provost’s office, general counsel, equal opportunity office, and student affairs. She served as the athletics department’s deputy Title IX.
Carla has served on the NCAA executive committee (2010-2014), and was a member of the Southeastern Conference’s executive committee (2009-2011).
Carla knows what it’s like to be a student-athlete because she was a great student-athlete herself. She was an All-SEC guard on Georgia’s women’s basketball team, a professional basketball player, and then helped recruit and coach women’s basketball before moving on to her career in sports administration.
Carla cares about every facet of the lives of student-athletes, and at Georgia she has been instrumental in creating programs that prepare student-athletes for life after athletics.
Prior to beginning her career at Georgia, Carla was at Vanderbilt, serving as an assistant director of athletics (2000-03) and an associate director of athletics (2003-04). Earlier, she worked at Florida State as a graduate assistant for athletic academic support.
Carla received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and master’s degree in public administration from Georgia in 1989 and 1991, respectively. She later earned her Ph.D. in sports administration from Florida State.
You just heard the details of Carla’s professional and academic background. But she also has some intangible qualities that made her our top choice for this job.
She has deep experience but also broad experience, having worked at three major universities. Altogether she has more than 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, as a student-athlete, coach, and senior administrator.
Education is a priority for Carla, as demonstrated by her multiple academic degrees and her dedication to the academic achievement of student-athletes.
She’s committed to the success of every varsity sport, and this is a perfect fit for UVA, where we’re committed to broad success across sports programs. She also has experience with one of the nation’s top football programs.
Perhaps most importantly, Carla is committed to the values we promote at this University. She believes in the principle of Uncompromised Excellence, and she’s committed to upholding the high standards we have at UVA.
Carla is coming to UVA at a great moment for UVA sports. Since 2002, UVA has won more ACC team championships than any other school in the conference, at 74. Last spring, men’s tennis won its third consecutive NCAA championship, and UVA captured three ACC championships in men’s tennis, field hockey, and rowing. Men’s track and field placed third and men’s golf placed 10th at their respective NCAA championships.
This fall, our field hockey and men’s and women’s soccer teams are highly ranked, and the football team is off to a great start with a record of 5 and 2.
At UVA, we emphasize the overall development of student-athletes, combining academic support and life-skills programming with a commitment to athletic success. UVA is one of the top public universities for academic achievement among student-athletes.
Last year, 323 UVA student-athletes were named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll, and 86 student-athletes were named to ACC All-Academic teams. Four Cavaliers were honored as ACC Scholar-Athletes of the Year, and the overall 2016-17 student-athlete GPA was 3.043.
Much of the success in recent years is due to Craig Littlepage, to all the coaches and staff, and to generous donors and a supportive fan base. As Craig steps down from his role as Athletics Director after 16 years of service, we are grateful for his long-term commitment to the University and its athletics program.
I would like to ask for a round of applause for Craig Littlepage.
I want to thank the search committee, which included Board of Visitors members Robert Hardie and Barbara Fried; rowing coach Kevin Sauer; Faculty Athletics Representative Carolyn Callahan; UVA student and former field hockey player Phoebe Willis; Scott Dockter, a past president of the Virginia Athletics Foundation; and Marcus Martin, UVA’s vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity professor.
I also want to thank UVA Rector Rusty Connor, Vice Rector Jim Murray, and President-Elect Jim Ryan for working closely with me on this search and the selection of Carla. And now we’re going to hear a few words from the Rector.
RUSTY CONNER: Well, thank you. She covered an awful lot of ground, and it was very substantive based, so I will probably reiterate a few things that she has said. So this is under the rub Rick that probably everything has been said but not everyone has said it, so Baer with me just a bit.
I do, I want to start where Terry sort of ended, and that is to thank Craig Littlepage. He has built an extraordinary program here, and he’s done it well. He’s done it in a way that’s creative to the university values, and we owe him so much for doing things so well in an area where many schools run afoul and undermine their reputation.
So, Craig, thank you for all that you’ve done. You’re very much a part of who we are today. You know, we’ve had an opportunity to conduct this search at a time when we’re trying to sort out what we want to do as a University in the third century. We have spent an enormous amount of time thinking about all sorts of subjects related to the Bicentennial. And one of the things that we thought about is where do athletics fit into the overall scheme, and plan, and goals for the adversity? And what we’ve determined and determined without any hesitation is that if we are going to achieve the very bold aspirations that we’ve set out for this University, athletics needs to be part and parcel of that success.
And in every sport, we need to be competitive at a level that’s consistent and appropriate, and we need to do it in such a way that we continue the extraordinary work that Craig and others have started with developing all of our student-athletes in a way that makes them leaders as they leave this University.
So aspiration for the moment, but soon to be expectation is that we want to win the directors cup. Year-in and year-out, we want to be in the Top 5 of the director’s cup, if not in the Top 5, certainly the Top 10. So that’s a very, very tall order. But it’s very much a part of us as a University achieving the greatness that we so desire. So we have a remarkable number of people who wanted to be an athletic director at The University of Virginia. We had to focus on a number of qualities, part and parcel consistent with the aspirations that we have. I just want to mention a few of them. Now the shorthand for all of this as we do in most of our searchs, we’re always looking for God on a good day in whatever position we’re seeking on that day. But the first thing I want to mention is the student-athlete experience. At this University, we’re all about the student experience, and it’s no different in athletics.
Oftentimes we’ll say, well, we want someone who has tremendous experience with the University of Virginia. That is simply a proxy for the thing that is the most distinguishing feature about this University, which is a student experience. And I started out in there thinking we need to find someone who knows the university, has been part of the University, or somehow understands who we are: As we progressed, we realized that we found someone who does value the student experience and whose passion is making each student the success that he or she can be. Not only on the playing field, but in the classroom as well. In fact, we found that a person who is so passionate about this, and whose focus has been on academic excellence, on developing leadership skills and on dealing with engagement with the community in a way that we can learn an awful lot from. So when we say we need to find someone who knows the university, I think we found someone who simply does know the University, and who is going to teach us and be accretive to our culture, much like Tony or Bronco, many who have no relationship with this University, yet there is not one person here who would say they’ve been anything but accretive to who we are as a University and a culture. So that was first and foremost the greatest and most significant aspect.
Integrity: Craig has run a very clean program, a program that’s compliant. And that’s what Carla has done at Georgia, but that’s what we expect to continue, but it’s absolutely sacrosanct that we do it as well as we can.
We want to have somebody who is responsible and had responsibility for all of the sports or nearly all of the sports. I think you’ve been responsible for all but three, perhaps. And most importantly, we needed someone who knew football and knew football at a very high level. I would say that she’s had that experience.
We also came to understand, as Craig has been telling us for a long time intercollegiate athletics is a complex business. It’s not something you’ve learned on the job. You have to know it coming in. The philosophy of change is so dramatic, we have to have someone who is remarkably experienced. Finally, we found someone that is consistent with what the coaches told us. We’d love for you to hire someone who has been a coach, who understands what we have to deal with in recruiting, and admissions, and protecting and supporting our student-athletes. We want someone who can help us recruit. We certainly have found that person. So I told Carla’s family, we were thrilled when we got to know her, but we’re over the moon now with Ryan, and Carmen, and Cameron, and Joshua. What a remarkable family we have just added to this family. So, thank you for being the person you are and for being with us.
PRESIDENT SULLIVAN: Thank you, Rusty. So at UVA we believe in uncompromised excellence. And that means that our coaches and our student-athletes pursue excellence in competition and in a classroom with equal levels of energy and commitment. Carla Williams shares our commitment to these principles, and that’s why I’m thrilled to introduce Carla as UVA’s new Director of Athletics.
We’re currently discussing her start date, but she’s already made a great impression on the UVA family. Ladies and gentlemen, Carla Williams.
CARLA WILLIAMS: Thank you. I am extremely grateful. First, I want to thank the good Lord for giving me this very special opportunity. I want to thank President Sullivan, President-elect Jim Ryan, Rector Rusty Conner, Vice Rector, Jim Murray, each member of the search committee, and the board of visitors for entrusting me with this awesome responsibility.
I have to thank a lot of people, so please bear with me.
My parents have both passed, but I do want to acknowledge and thank them for giving me the most important thing a parent can give a child and that is knowing that you are loved. I did not have great material things as a child, but my brother and I felt like we were richly blessed because our parents loved us.
Thank you to my family members, many family members and family friends, teachers, and coaches in Lagrange, Georgia. All total, I spent 25 formative years in Athens, Georgia. My family and I became a part of the community as we will in Charlottesville. I want to thank my friends in Athens, in particular, Reverend Winfred Hope at Ebenezer Baptist Church West. To UGA President, Jere Morehead. Thank you for your many years as a mentor and as a champion for me.
Thank to Greg McGarity and my colleagues at the University of Georgia for their support and encouragement through many years.
I also want to give a special thank you to Glada Horvat in Athens, Georgia. She was my academic counselor. When I arrived on campus as a 17-year-old freshman, and we are colleagues to this day, 32 years later.
I’ve had the opportunity throughout my career to work with some tremendous coaches. To the coaches at the University of Georgia, thank you for your professionalism, thank you for your commitment to excellence in your sport and in the classroom. To the student-athletes at Georgia, I love you. I know you will continue to do great things, and you will always have a special place in my heart.
If we are fortunate enough in life, there will be people along the way who will tell us what we need to hear and not necessarily what we want to hear. Individuals who will push us out of our comfort zone because they see something in us that we may not see in ourselves. Someone who refuses to allow us to settle for average. Consider yourself blessed if you have at least one person who sees it as their purpose to push you toward your potential, to push you towards excellence.
One of those people for me is my college coach, Andy Landers. Thank you, Coach. I want to thank my family who is here with me today. My husband, Brian, our daughter, Carmen, who is a fourth year at Georgia. Our daughter Cameron who is a first year at Georgia, and our son, Joshua, who is in the 8th grade. This moment is for you too. Today is proof positive that dreams do come true. May you never doubt the power of faith, hard work and an education.
The Callaway foundation in my hometown built a recreation center, and I grew up playing sports. I played football and basketball with and against boys. From a very early age I learned some very valuable lessons. I learned no one has to feel sorry for you, so do not feel sorry for yourself. Whether you fall down or get knocked down, get up, try again, fight on. I learned how to compete against people who were seemingly bigger, stronger, and faster than me. Don’t be intimidated. Always be prepared. I learned humility is strength. Humility reminds me that it is about the team and it takes a team working as one unit to achieve greatness. As UVA’s athletics director, you can expect to see those characteristics in me on a daily basis.
Also, please know we will experience success, because we will never lose sight of some very basic core values within intercollegiate athletics.
Academic achievement, athletic excellence, integrity, maximum effort, and team. Togetherness, unity. This is a world class University with elite athletic programs. UVA has tremendous coaches and very talented student-athletes.
From my vantage point in Athens, Georgia, UVA is a high-achieving athletic program. And all high-achieving athletic programs can improve. My goal is to enhance the strengths, to identify and address potential shortcomings so our student-athletes can continue to have incredible experiences, receive a remarkable education, and compete for conference and National Championships.
Lastly, I do understand and appreciate the historic nature of me being named athletics director at The University of Virginia. I have served as a role model throughout my career as a student-athlete, as a coach and as an administrator. I take great pleasure in serving others. I will continue to be a role model to help others reach their goals. For anyone who aspires to be in this position, it does not matter if you are black or white, male or female, if you aspire to be in this role one day, the most important thing you need to know is I am the athletics director at The University of Virginia because I have always done more than what was expected of me.
I have pushed myself to earn advanced degrees. I made it a point to get experience in every area of intercollegiate athletics. I believe no job or responsibility within athletics is too small, and no one person is too big. I have played, coached, and managed at the highest levels of the NCAA, and, yes, I am an African-American female. I see that every morning when I wake up and look in the mirror. Dreams do not know categories. Dreams do not know genders or colors. I am living proof that anything is possible if you have the nerve and the imagination to believe it can happen.
To prospective students and prospective student-athletes in every sport, throughout the commonwealth of Virginia and across the country, if you are looking for a place to make big dreams a reality, if you are looking for a place to achieve goals that seem unimaginable, if you are looking for a place to defy the odds, I’ve found that place. Come join us at UVA, Go Hoos. Thank you?
Q. As you mentioned in your opening remarks, this athletic department has performed at a high level for many years now, not only in the ACC but nationally. As you look to build on that success, what do you see as the major challenge or challenges facing the department?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I also want to commend Craig Littlepage. I have watched Virginia and watched Craig from afar with great admiration. You know, I have to pinch myself sometimes to realize that I’ll be standing in your shoes at The University of Virginia. So thank you for all of your counsel and support for me.
College athletics is a challenging enterprise. The way that Virginia wants to do it is the way that I am built to do it, and we’ll continue to focus on academic achievement. We’ll do it with integrity. We’ll give maximum effort, and we’re going to come together as a team, not just within our different sports teams, but within the athletic department and within the Charlottesville community.
I’m anxious to get started. I got here two days ago, and so there is a lot for me to learn. I do consider myself a lifelong learner, and I’m looking forward to getting here and finding out more from the coaches, from the student-athletes, and from all of our stakeholders so we can begin to put together a program that all of you can be proud of, continue to be proud of.
Q. You mentioned Coach Landers in your opening. In 1996 you guys had been to consecutive Final Fours and you were an assistant on that staff. What, at that point, led you to transition from coaching into the administrative path?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I will say Coach Landers sent me a message right before this press conference, and he learned how to turn on his computer and he’s watching. Love you, Coach. I knew when I went into coaching that I did not want to be a head coach. I went into coaching to become a better administrator. So I coached for five years and had great success. We played in two Final Fours. We played for the National Championship. And our daughter, Carmen was born, and I realized it was time to go ahead and make that move to administration. It was perfect timing. I stayed one extra year in coaching because I felt like we could win a National Championship. We came very close. Played for it and lost. But I felt like in ’96, that was a perfect time for me to move into administration to get started with that part of my career.
Q. I was intrigued talking to Bronco earlier today. He mentioned you had recommended that he talk to Mark Richt at Miami about how you handled that situation at Georgia. What did you hope he would learn from that conversation? Can you address just the challenge of handling that situation when you were at Georgia?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Yeah, so, first, let me say that I was able to meet with some coaches one-on-one and some coaches within a group. I think that you’ve got some phenomenal people here at Virginia, and I’m looking forward to working with them, and Bronco is definitely one of those folks. I encourage the coaches to talk to their counterparts at Vanderbilt and at Georgia. I think it’s important for coaches to talk to their colleagues to try to understand who their AD is going to be. So as far as Georgia is concerned, coach Richt, I have to give him a lot of credit because he requested that I be his sport supervisor years ago. That was a change — a game changer in my career. So I’m always indebted to him for that request. Then Kirby Smart, I’ve known Kirby since he was a student-athlete at Georgia. His wife was a women’s basketball player at Georgia under Coach Landers as well. He’s going to do a phenomenal job at Georgia. So coach Richt is doing a great job at Miami, and Kirby Smart’s doing a great job at Georgia, and that’s all you can ask for.
Q. Do you have any timetable for what you’ll be taking the job? Also, one of the top senior associates positions is open, and what do you think about that?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Yeah, so we’re still trying to figure out when I’ll start. My two daughters are in college at Georgia, our son is in 8th grade, and my husband is a Professor at Georgia. So we’ve got to tie up some loose ends there. But it will either be in December or January. So we’re still working on that part of it. What was the second part of your question?
Q. It was about the senior Associate AD position that’s open right now. Will you be able to — how much will you be able to work on that?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I’ve met a lot of the staff that’s here. It’s a very talented staff. I’ve enjoyed getting to know them. There is a lot of institutional knowledge within that group, so I’m looking forward to learning more from them. My style of management and transition, I like to observe, I like to ask a lot of questions, I like to listen, and then I’ll evaluate and make some decisions. So we’ll take some time to try to get a better understanding of how it operates and figure out the best way to move forward.
Q. You referenced when David asked you about going to coaching because you saw yourself maybe in this role. Obviously, it’s an historical hire. At the time you were thinking that, what made you think this would be possible back then?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Well, I kind of addressed that a little bit in my remarks. I grew up not thinking there were limitations. So when I was able to earn a scholarship to Georgia as a women’s basketball player, it was a great team and it was loaded with talent. There was a player on that team that went on to be a five-time olympian. A player on that team that went on to be a three-time olympian. And Coach Landers, when he was recruiting me, told my parents that I wouldn’t play my first year, I wouldn’t play my second year. If I worked really hard I might play as a junior and senior. I ended up being a three-year starter. So for me, I see a lot of things as challenges, where someone may see it as an obstacle or wall that you can’t get over. I simply use it as a challenge to make it happen.
Q. It sounds like every step of the way has been really calculated for you. Big dreams. So is this the top of the steps for you, or are you going to run the NCAA some day?
CARLA WILLIAMS: You know, my approach as a player, as an assistant coach, as an Assistant AD, Associate AD, and all along the way has always been to be the very best in that job. When I was an assistant coach, I wanted to be the best assistant coach in the country. As an associate athletic director, I wanted to be the best associate athletic director in the country. So that’s been my approach. I’ve tried very hard not to look too far down the road because I didn’t want to lose sight of the present.
So, yes, in the back of my mind I knew what it would take to be fully prepared for a role like this, and that was in my mind. But I also wanted to make sure I did a great job at the job that I had.
Q. UVA is in the midst of raising money for football support complex that I believe will cost $55 to $60 million dollars. What have you learned about fundraising over the years? What advice have your mentors given you about that part of the AD job?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Well, I will say, I don’t know if Dirk Katstra is still here. But he and I have met a couple times, and he’s been awesome. So we’ve built a lot of facilities during my time at Georgia. We’ve raised a lot of money. We’ve found unique ways to finance projects. So I’m looking forward to getting with our staff and getting an understanding of what the priority is currently, what projects are on the books, where we are with fundraising, where we are with the financial planning for those projects. And then we’ll make a decision after that to figure out what’s next.
But I’m looking forward to it. Looking forward to meeting with the staff, and trying to get a better understanding.
I just haven’t been here long enough.
Q. You obviously come from a University that has an established football culture. Maybe one of the best in the country. I know that all sports are important, but I don’t think it’s overstated when you say the importance of football in the context of the revenue it generates. I was just at the recent homecoming game here at Scott’s stadium, not a whole lot of people there. What do you think is the biggest barrier to establishing a better football culture here?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I had a chance to spend a little bit of time with Bronco and of course we’ve got to spend a lot more time together to get this going. But I think you have the right person. From the outside looking in, you’ve got a high-character person, great integrity, very successful history. 5-1, if you take that game away on Saturday, and I know you can’t take the game away on Saturday. But I talk with him and I stopped him in the middle of a sentence and I just said, can I shake your hand? Because I believe the way that he is trying to do it is the right way. He is building a foundation, and that’s not easy. It may look relatively easy from the outside, but it’s quite difficult.
But I trust that he is doing it the way that it needs to be done. Once we begin to build that relationship and he understands my strengths, and I understand what his challenges are, I’ll be able to draw on my experiences from Florida State, from Vanderbilt, from Georgia, to help him be successful. That’s my goal. I want to do everything I can do to help him be successful.
Q. Welcome to Charlottesville. You said you were here two days. You were part of the community in Athens, Georgia. What is your plan in early steps when it comes to joining the culture and the community in Charlottesville, and really taking a crash course in what it means to be a Cavalier?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Well, I’ve already had Bodo’s. My entire family had it and it was awesome.
You know, we are, as a family, people. We love people. My husband and my son don’t like to talk a whole lot, but my daughters and I love to talk. But we are a people oriented family. I think it comes natural for us. So we’ll get here, and we’ll start to meet people and we’ll just get out. We’ll start to meet people. It will be easy. It won’t take long for us to become a part of the community.
Q. Have you been to Charlottesville before? Do you have any connections to the state of Virginia either as an athlete or in your family?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Not that I know of in my family. I was here around 2002 with Vanderbilt. Our women’s lacrosse team came here. I’ve been to the state of Virginia a lot in recruiting. We recruited a player that was really, really good out of the state of Virginia when I was coaching. So I spent a lot of time in the Hampton area.
Q. You mentioned the schools there and that you’ve been at. You have connections with the ACC and the SEC. So, first, which is a better football conference?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I haven’t been here long enough to give you a true, meaningful answer.
Q. The second one might be hard too because you’ve only been here a few days. But you are taking over a department that’s been very successful kind of across the board. What is the unique challenge in kind of keeping that going as opposed to taking over some place where it needs to be rebuilt?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it’s a great program. That’s what’s so attractive about it. I’ve had opportunities before, and I’ve been very, very selective because I had a great job at the University of Georgia. I feel like with every great program, with every high achieving program, you can get better. You may not be able to tell it from the outside, but those of us internally know how we can get better, how we should get better. So I’ve got to get in here and start to figure out what some potential shortcomings are, and figure out how I can help us in those areas. I want to enhance what we’re already good at, and look for any weaknesses and try to make them better to raise the level of the entire department.
Q. Carla, what is your drive, your fire come from? Does it come from those playgrounds playing football against guys or your parents or from somewhere else?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I think it’s a combination of all of that. The way that I grew up. The way that I was raised. The opportunities that I had at the University of Georgia, my journey from Athens to Tallahassee, to Nashville, and back to Athens. My family. I’ve got a great family. And thank goodness they all love sports because I’ve taken them all around the country. Carmen was born in Athens. Cameron was born in Tallahassee, and Joshua was born in Nashville.
So I think it’s a combination of all of the people I’ve met. A lot of coaches through the years, I had a great high school coach. We were very successful. I had a great college coach who taught me a lot on and off the court. I’ve worked with great administrators. I’ve got great mentors. So I think it’s a combination of all of that.
Q. You mentioned you played football. What position?
CARLA WILLIAMS: Quarterback and wide receiver.
Q. Not bad, not bad. You mentioned you had previous opportunities. What made this time and this school the right time for you to make that move?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I knew the quality of the University here at Virginia. So I think an elite, world class University that has proven you can win championships, there aren’t many of those. I recognized that a long time ago. And that’s something that’s always been very important to me. Because winning championships and getting a great education, those things aren’t mutually exclusive. You can do both. You should do both. So this is one of those places in the country where the foundation is there, thanks to Craig and his staff. The foundation is there, and I believe I can build upon that.
Q. Greg McGarrity not only retained you, he promoted you. What was that working relationship like? He told me earlier today he wore out the carpet between his office and yours.
CARLA WILLIAMS: It’s great. Greg gave me a lot of opportunities to lead. A lot of responsibilities and it helped me. Responsibilities that I didn’t necessarily have before. So I’m very appreciative of that because that’s helped me get to where I am. It’s hard work. But it’s work that I enjoyed because this is my passion. So, Greg has been great. I’ve had a ton of great mentors through the years, and he’s been one of them.
Q. We have a lot of four and five-star players leaving the state of Virginia and going to playing for your place, Georgia, and Florida State. What do you think would be something you could use to recruit to keep all the four and five stars here in the state of Virginia?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I’ll give you an educated answer, because I do not know what our strategy is, I don’t know what our process is, I have to learn all of that. But an educated answer would be relationships. You’ve got to, in recruiting, it’s much like fundraising. You’ve got to be able to share a vision. You’ve got to be able to build relationships, and you’ve got to be able to get results. Oftentimes the building the relationship part is the toughest part because you’ve got to get in the door.
So I know it’s difficult. We didn’t always get every player that we recruited. We got a lot of them, and I’m involved with our recruiting now at Georgia for several sports. It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s year round, and it takes everyone. It takes an entire department. When it’s done that way, that’s where I have seen success, when everyone in the department understands the importance of recruiting in football, then you can start to see a little bit of success in getting in the door, and then you have to build those relationships.
Q. You have a basketball background as does Mr. Littlepage. Just wanted to get your impressions. You talked about people with high integrity and character, just your impressions initially of Tony Bennett, and Joanne Boyle, and I understand there is a former Georgia bulldog on the women’s staff too. So you may have some familiarity there, if you could talk about that?
CARLA WILLIAMS: I was able to meet with Joanne and with Tony, and I can’t say it enough, I’ve been around a lot of people in athletics, I’ve been around a lot of coaches at different places, and the coaches that I’ve met so far are outstanding. I mean, just remarkable people. Forget the Xs and Os. Just remarkable people. So that has been a great feeling for me in meeting with those folks.
I know ACC basketball is really good. I know it’s very good in men’s and women’s basketball. So I’m looking forward to working with Tony and with Joanne, and I told both of them, my goal is to figure out how I can help them win. What can I do? What can I add? What can I bring to the table to help them recruit? To help them win, to help their student-athletes have great experiences, what can I do?
So we’re going to go through that journey together to figure that out.