Larry Williams to Marquette

By The Beacon | December 6, 2011 9:00pm

UP Athletic Director Larry Williams has accepted a position at Marquette University

(-- The Beacon)

By Jason Hortsch

On Tuesday, UP Athletic Director Larry Williams formally announced he had accepted the position of vice president and director of athletics of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Williams had been with UP since June of 2004.

Williams, a former NFL player and Notre Dame standout, said he believed Marquette represented the right choice for his future.

"Marquette is one of the elite names in collegiate athletics," Williams said in a statement. "But after getting to know the people here, it was clear to me that this was a program with not only a storied history, but an extremely bright future. Just as importantly, it was a place my family and I could call home."

Marquette University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., who introduced Williams at a news conference at Marquette on Tuesday, felt confident that Williams was a great fit for the school.

"After personally reviewing and interviewing a highly talented group of applicants and consulting with an outstanding Search Committee, I know that Larry Williams is the right choice to lead Marquette Athletics into its next great chapter," Pilarz said via a press release.

Williams begins his new job Jan. 2.

University of Portland President Father Beauchamp broke the news to the UP community via an email, and wished Williams success in his new appointment.

"Please join me in thanking Larry for his many years of great service here on The Bluff," Beauchamp said in his email. "While we hate to see Larry leave UP, I know you will join me in congratulating him on his appointment at Marquette and wishing him all the best."

Williams leaves UP with a successful legacy. Under his watchful eye, the athletics department experienced numerous successes, including a women's soccer championship in 2005 and the men's basketball team's first national top-25 ranking in over 50 years. Williams also helped usher in renovations to the Clive Charles Soccer Complex and the installation of turf practice fields.

Williams will replace Steve Cottingham, Marquette's previous Athletic Director who resigned in June over allegations of mishandling sexual assault cases.