Larry Williams resigns as director of MU athletics

AP Photo/ Tom Lynn

AP Photo/ Tom Lynn

Larry Williams, vice president and director of athletics, told Interim University President the Rev. Robert A. Wild today that he is resigning from his position to pursue leadership opportunities outside Marquette, according to a university news brief.

The news brief also reported that Bill Cords, who presided over Marquette’s athletics programs from 1987 to 2006, will return as interim vice president and director of athletics for the time being.

Williams was named the head of the athletics department by former University President the Rev. Scott Pilarz Dec. 5, 2011 and officially took over on Jan. 2, 2012. Prior to his time at Marquette, Williams served as the director of athletics and recreation at the University of Portland for seven years.

“We want to thank Larry for leading our student-athletes, coaches and athletic staff in our 16 competitive athletic programs for the past two years,” Wild said in the news brief. “We appreciate Larry’s contributions to Marquette University, particularly for leading us into the newly reconfigured Big East and helping establish a unique partnership with Fox Sports. We wish him nothing but success in his future.”

Brian Dorrington, senior director of university communication, said there are no additional details about Williams’ decision to pursue other leadership positions.

“We respect his decision,” Dorrington said. “He’s made strong contributions to Marquette, and we wish nothing but the best for him.”

Williams is the third member of the University’s Leadership Council to resign since John Pauly left the provost office in late May. Pilarz’s resignation was announced to the university via email Sept. 20., which was followed by the resignation of Mary DiStanislao, who served as executive vice president from March 2012 to October of this year. Like Williams, DiStanislao was appointed to her position by Pilarz.

In the same brief that announced DiStanislao’s resignation, it was also announced that Tom MacKinnon, Pilarz’s chief of staff, left the university the week prior. MacKinnon was also Pilarz’s chief of staff while Pilarz was president of the University of Scranton.

“We have tremendous leaders at Marquette,” Dorrington said. “We have faith that we can move forward.”