Van Williams is entering his fourth season as an assistant coach for the Oregon men’s golf team. He joined the staff in 2013 with a resume that includes both prep and collegiate experience, as well as experience as a recruiting coordinator at the collegiate level.
Since joining head coach Casey Martin in 2013, Williams has assisted in the development of the Oregon men’s golf program into a national power, helping lead the Ducks to the program’s first NCAA Championship in 2016.
Williams has overseen the development of six all-conference selections. He also guided a pair of freshmen in Aaron Wise (2015) and Thomas Lim (2014) to the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team. Williams coached Lim to a Golf Coaches Association of America All-Region selection in 2014, and Wise to an All-Region and All-American selection in 2016.
In his three years as an assistant at Oregon, Williams has helped guide the Ducks to three NCAA Championship appearances as well as eight total tournament titles.
In what was a banner season for the Ducks in 2015-16, Williams was instrumental in the run that not only brought the program its first team championship, but Aaron Wise’s individual title that also served as a first-time landmark for any Oregon player.
Behind Williams and Martin, Oregon also picked up a team win at the 2016 season-opening Husky Invitational, and finished in the top-five or better in seven of the team’s 13 appearances. He guided Sulman Raza as the junior picked up his first collegiate win at the Airstream Adventures Northwest Classic to lead Oregon to a second-place finish. Under his watch, Wise became the first player in program history to win three collegiate tournaments in a single season, and in doing so also tied himself with former Oregon golfer Daniel Miernicki as the winningest player in program history with five victories.
Williams helped the Ducks to a sixth-place at the 2016 Pac-12 Championship, before an impressive showing at NCAA Regionals in Tucson, Ariz. At the regional, led by a top-five performance from Lim, Oregon finished second thanks in part to a hot final round in which the team carded a season-low 14-under 274 to qualify for its third straight NCAA Championship.
During the 2014-15 season, Williams helped coach the Ducks to five tournament victories, the second-most wins in a season in program history, and the most since the 2011-12 season. Under Williams’ watch, Wise took home two individual tournament titles at the Ka’anapali Classic and Desert Mountain Intercollegiate, while Lim collected a title of his own at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational. The Ducks finished second at the 2016 Pac-12 Championship before a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. The squad qualified to compete at the NCAA Championships for a second consecutive season.
In his first season with the Ducks, Williams helped pilot the squad to a title at the Desert Intercollegiate. He oversaw seven top-five finishes on the season, including a second-place finish at NCAA Regionals. The Ducks qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2012, and finished the championships tied for 14th overall.
Williams comes to UO from Wake Tech Community College where he was the head golf coach from 2011-13. He led the Eagles to their first ever National Junior College Athletic Association ranking after the NJCAA Tournament in 2013. He also guided Ryan Gilbert to a third-place finish and the title of 2013 Region X Medalist at the NJCAA Tournament in 2013. In his first two seasons at the helm, Williams successfully recruited a pair of top-10 recruits in North Carolina.
In addition to his coaching experience, Williams served as a caddie for Oregon head coach Casey Martin (2001-04) on the PGA and Nationwide tours. Martin’s best finish during Williams’ tenure as a caddie was a tie for third at the 2002 LaSalle Bank Open.
Aside from coaching men’s and women’s golf, Williams has picked up experience coaching basketball as well. In 2009, he helped start the men’s basketball program at Wake Tech and was the school’s first head men’s basketball coach.
Williams was named the 2013 NJCAA Region X Coach of the Year when Wake Tech accumulated a 24-9 record and was a runner-up at the Division II Region X finals. The Eagles were also ranked for the first time in program history that year climbing as high as 17th. Williams also coached a pair of North Carolina East/West All-Star selections.
Four of Wake Tech’s players moved on playing at the Division I level. The most notable of the four was Lamont Middleton, who signed with North Carolina A&T. Middleton helped guide the Aggies to a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament championship and a spot in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. North Carolina A&T lost to Louisville, the eventual national champions, in the first round.
Prior to joining Wake Tech, Williams started his career as an associate men’s basketball coach at Cape Fear Community College for two years (2006-08). During his time with the Sea Devils, Williams was in charge of player development as well as serving as the tournament director for the 2008 men’s and women’s NJCAA Region X Division I Basketball Tournament.
Williams then moved on as an assistant men’s basketball coach at his alma mater, Shaw University, where he was in charge of player development and conditioning. During his stint at Shaw, Williams recruited two All-CIAA players.
Williams was a two-sport athlete at Southeastern University (1998-2000) where he was a two-year starter for the basketball team, while also playing golf. As a member of the golf team he earned an individual medal at the Clearwater Christian College Invitational in 1999.
The North Carolina native then moved to Shaw University where he helped lead the basketball team to the 2002 NCAA Division II Final Four in Evansville, Ind. During that historic season, the Bears compiled a 28-5 record, winning the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Eastern Division, the CIAA Tournament and the NCAA Division II South-Athletic Regional Championship.
In his final season, Williams led the league in 3-point field goals per game and was seventh in Division II in 3-pointers made per game (3.65). In his first year at SU, Williams was named to the CIAA All-Rookie Team.