Illinois Institute of Technology Athletics has the hired Joel Williams as Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s and Track and Field Cross Country programs.
“Joel Williams will be a great addition to our department,” said Illinois Tech Athletic Director Joe Hakes. “It was very clear throughout his interview process that he appreciates the value of the student-athlete experience, and that success has to do with the personal development of each member of the roster. He has a great background in coaching that will elevate our cross country and track and field programs to a higher level. We look forward to what he will bring to Illinois Tech.”
Williams comes to Illinois Tech with almost two decades of coaching experience. He most recently served as an assistant coach for both Track and Field and Cross Country at Division III Texas Lutheran University this past year. With the Bulldogs, Williams coordinated the recruiting efforts and strength and conditioning sessions for both programs. He also worked with several multi-event, sprint, hurdle, and horizontal jump athletes.
During his year at Texas Lutheran, Williams helped guide both the men’s and women’s track and field programs to second place finishes at the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. The men’s team qualified a freshman, Marquis Brown, to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships in the 400m. Also, the women’s team captured United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team honors. Both cross country teams also put together successful seasons, placing fourth at the SCAC Championships.
Prior to Texas Lutheran, Williams served on his North Central College’s staff as a Graduate Assistant Coach with cross country and track and field while pursing his Master of Leadership Studies in Sports Leadership. A three-time All-American, 12-time National Qualifier, and 1998 National Champion for the Cardinals, Williams was able to give back to his alma mater with his various coaching, recruiting, and event management duties. While at NCC, the Cardinals garnered 17 All-Americans and five Top 10 finishes at NCAA Division III Championships between the two programs.
Since his time as an undergrad at NCC, Williams has served on the Track and Field staffs for Division I Davidson College, Williams College, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Aurora University, Division I Kent State University, and Elmhurst College. He also served as an assistant volleyball coach while at Williams and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
“I am thoroughly honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with such a determined group of young men and women, ” said Williams. “We are all very eager to hit the ground running and start on a path to something special.”
In addition to his master’s degree from North Central, Williams has a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from NCC. He also carries certifications from both the USTFCCCA and USTAF.