SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College has named Van Williams as head coach of the men’s golf program. Williams spent the last three seasons as associate head coach at North Carolina State University.
In three seasons at NC State, head coach Press McPhaul and Williams guided the Wolfpack to two top-25 campaigns. During the shortened 2019-20 season, the team posted five top-10 finishes in tournaments. They took first place in the Wolfpack Intercollegiate with a field of fifteen teams.
“We are excited to introduce Van Willams as head coach of the men’s golf team,” said Richard Johnson, Director of Athletics. “Van brings a wealth of experience to Wofford, including winning a national championship in 2016 with Oregon. We were fortunate to have a strong pool of candidates for this position and can’t wait to have him leading our team this spring.”
“I want to thank Coach Johnson and the entire search committee for the opportunity to lead the Wofford men’s golf program,” said Van Williams. “From the first time I stepped onto campus I knew that Wofford was a special place. My family and I are grateful to join the Terrier family and look forward to great things in the future!”
In 2018-19, NC State won the Wolfpack Intercollegiate title and was selected for an NCAA Regional for the fifth consecutive season. NC State finished the season with two players (Stephen Franken – 4th and Benjamin Shipp – 6th) ranked in the top-10 on the program’s single-season stroke average list. Both Franken and Shipp were named to the All-ACC team. It was the first time since 2011, the Pack had multiple players named to the All-ACC team.
In 2017-18, NC State won two team tournaments and finished third in the Raleigh NCAA Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2011. The Pack’s 54-hole score of 21-under-par was the second-best 54-hole score in Regional competition for NC State in program history. Benjamin Shipp’s score of 12-under-par for the tournament was the best score in program history in regional play.
Williams helped guide Stephen Franken to one of the best individual seasons in program history in 2017-18. Franken was named ACC Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He tied a program-record for low round with a 62 in Puerto Rico and tied the program-record for best 54-hole score related to par with a 15-under 201 to win the 2017 Wolfpack Intercollegiate.
A North Carolina native, Williams spent the four seasons prior to NC State as an assistant coach in the Pac-12. He was an assistant at Oregon from 2013-16 and spent the 2016-17 season as an assistant at Arizona State.
In 2016-17 at Arizona State, Williams helped lead a Sun Devil lineup that featured three freshmen and a sophomore to an NCAA Championship berth. The Sun Devils ended the season with two tournament wins and three individuals claim medalist honors. Arizona State had three players earn All-Pac 12 honors, while Jared du Toit was a second-team All-America selection.
Williams arrived at Arizona State from Oregon, where he helped the Ducks to the NCAA team and individual (Aaron Wise) titles in 2016.
In his time at Oregon, Williams helped head coach Casey Martin develop six All-Pac-12 players and Wise became the fifth Duck to earn first-team All-America honors. He also help guide Wise (2015) and Thomas Lim (2014) to the All-Pac-12 Freshman Team, and Lim also earned Golf Coaches Association of America All-Region selection in 2014.
In his three years as an assistant at Oregon, Williams helped guide the Ducks to three NCAA Championship appearances, including the 2016 title, as well as eight total tournament titles.
During the 2014-15 season, Williams helped coach the Ducks to five tournament victories, the second-most wins in a season in program history, as Wise took home two individual tournament titles, while Lim collected one title. The Ducks finished second at the 2016 Pac-12 Championship and competed 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 and the team had seven top-five finishes, including a second-place finish at NCAA Regionals. The Ducks finished 14th at the NCAA Championships.
Williams was the head coach at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh from 2011-13. He led the Eagles to their first 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 addition to his coaching experience, Williams served as a caddie for 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 also has experience coaching basketball. 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 onto playing at the Division I level.
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.
He 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.