Carla Williams, a former Georgia women’s basketball player and considered by some the heir apparent to be Georgia’s next athletic director, is instead set to be the new AD at Virginia.
Williams, UGA’s deputy director of athletics, will be hired by Virginia, multiple the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press reported on Saturday night. There was no immediate confirmation from UGA, but one person close to the situation said all signs pointed in the direction of Williams leaving for Virginia.
The news could have far-reaching consequences in UGA athletics because Williams has handled a number of responsibilities as the top aide to athletics director Greg McGarity. Williams also was actively involved in administration duties for the football team, seen often at practices. At meetings of the UGA athletics board, she usually would sit next to McGarity.
McGarity, the AD since 2010, has a contract that runs through the summer of 2019. The next-highest-ranking member of the athletics department is Josh Brooks, the executive associate athletics director.
Williams was revealed to be a finalist for the Virginia job last weekend, but she had no direct ties to the ACC school, so another candidate was considered the favorite. Instead, Williams will become the first athletic director at Virginia in three decades not to have any direct ties to the school.
Williams will replace Craig Littlepage, who has been Virginia’s athletic director since 2001.
At Georgia, Williams has been a constant-but-quiet presence, responsible officially for almost everything involved in athletics. (Her bio on the website lists her duties including supervision of academic support, business operations, compliance, event management, external operations, facilities, human resources, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, student services and ticketing.) The one area she did not have a clear role was in fundraising.
A native of LaGrange, Williams played basketball under Andy Landers from 1985-89. She went into sports administration, including in UGA’s compliance department, also going on to work at Florida State and Vanderbilt. She returned to Athens in 2004, gradually rising to become the top deputy in the athletics department.
Staff writer Chip Towers contributed to this story.