Chris Williams, who had been an assistant coach at Michigan State for eight seasons, has been named head coach of the new men’s and women’s wrestling programs at Adrian College, the Adrian, Mich.-based school announced Friday.
This summer, Adrian College announced it would bring back its men’s wrestling program after a 30-year absence, and add a women’s program. The Adrian Bulldogs sports programs compete in NCAA Division III.
Until last year, Williams had been an assistant coach for the MSU Spartans from 2005-13. The native of Fowlerville, Mich. led the fundraising efforts for the program while also organizing the recruiting efforts of future student-athletes. Williams was a part of a program that stressed academic success and the development of essential life skills off of the wrestling mat.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Williams also took part as the head coach of the Michigan USA Wrestling Team from 2007-12. He was selected to be the leader of over 100 of the top wrestlers in the state as they competed in national events.
Prior to becoming a coach, Williams wrestled at Michigan State from 1997-2002, where he earned All-American honors in the 125-pound weight class at the 2001 NCAAs. He was also team captain at Michigan State in 2001-02. Before college Williams was a two-time Michigan state champ for Fowlerville.
“We are very pleased to find such a great coach from the state of Michigan,” said Adrian College athletic director Michael Duffy. “It goes without saying that the first hire in decades for wrestling here at Adrian College is a huge moment. We believe that Chris is a perfect fit for the rebirth of wrestling at Adrian College. He has a great pedigree as a collegiate wrestler and helped build a top-notch program at his alma mater Michigan State University. The goal is to compete right way and start building towards the 2015-16 season.”
“It is great that wrestling was brought back to Adrian College and the addition of the women’s program is a big selling point for the college and wrestling program,” said Williams. “I am amazed at the amount of support that student-athletes are given at Adrian College. The administration has put the resources together to make these programs into something that will be formidable. The addition of a new weight room and multi-purpose room is a great commitment to excellence.”
Williams, who had been out of coaching for over a year, was eager to return to the profession. He saw an ad for the position, and applied. He had a couple meetings with Adrian AD Duffy before coming to the campus for a formal interview, the “The Daily Telegram” reported Saturday.
“I coached the best high school kids in Michigan and got to see the best kids in the country, and it was a great experience,” Williams told Ed Patino of “The Daily Telegram”. “I enjoy both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling as they are two different disciplines. Women have only freestyle wrestling, while men have both.”
Adrian College, located in southeast Michigan, is the fourth school to offer NCAA Division III wrestling in the region, joining Olivet College and Alma College in Michigan, and Trine University in nearby Angola, Ind.