Wooster appoints new Director of Athletics and Physical Education

Angad Singh

Sports Editor


Amy Heasley Williams was named the new Director of Physical Education at Wooster on May 15, 2020. Williams, who was the
Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at
Kenyon College previously, was appointed after the conclusion of a
national search. Her first day with the College of Wooster was July 15, 2020.

“This is an interesting year to move into any role in the educational sector, and particularly at a residential institution. The athletic staff has been welcoming and helpful as I navigate getting to know the campus and the people here at Wooster,” Williams stated. Further praising the warm Wooster environment, she added, “What I’ve
found across campus are colleagues who are passionate, driven and
hopeful. It’s plainly evident that people are fond of The College and
our surrounding community.”

Williams hopes to be impactful during her time at Wooster. Considering her ample experience in collegiate athletics, Williams
said, “Wooster has a fine athletic tradition, respected among our
peers in the North Coast Athletic Conference and NCAA Division-III. Engaging our entire community (students, faculty, staff, alumni,
friends) is an important aspect of our success and what frames the experience for our students and provides lasting memories. Building on these relationships is a major focus of my work as we move forward.” She adds, “I believe wholeheartedly in the small college residential experience. The opportunity to build partnerships and collaborate across campus, to celebrate the good works of our students (and faculty and staff) in all parts of their lives (not just
athletics), and the deep connection to a meaningful mission. In these
ways, Kenyon and Wooster are very similar. Wooster’s emphasis on the independent study is a distinctive feature that sets it apart from other small colleges.” On being asked what has been her favorite part of Wooster so far, Williams stated, “I really appreciate sharing ideas and Wooster both welcomes and celebrates dialogue. To me, that’s a key element in understanding, learning and growth. I can gain so much by observing, listening, and participating across the college, not just within the athletic department. I am grateful to be invited into the many different worlds at Wooster.”

Already having spent a couple of months in Wooster, she was asked what so far has been her most challenging aspect of her job apart
from the pandemic. She stated, “To put it simply, the toughest challenge was meeting the staff as a whole in a first meeting in which
the announcement was shared that we were not going to compete  semester. Since then, as a staff, we have been re-imagining the way that we engage with our students – both in a recreational space and also in our varsity programming. She further adds; “This is hard for coaches because we are so conditioned toward preparing for competition, and we’ve had to slow down and get back to the basics. It’s been an incredible reminder of the foundation of sport and the interaction of mind-body-spirit, which will serve us well today, tomorrow and further in the future.”  Speaking on a personal note, she continues, “It’s a unique challenge to build relationships and partnerships remotely. My experiences in these first 6 weeks here at Wooster have really emphasized (or reemphasized) the value of personal connection.  I so appreciate the opportunity to
engage through time spent together and the impact of healthy debate and conversation.” On being asked how she was inspired to become involved in  collegiate athletics, Williams adds; “As a former collegiate athlete, I was fortunate to experience incredible success. Sport can teach not only skill, but also patience, resilience, teamwork and humility. Through sport, I also learned about culture and respect, how to lead, and perhaps as importantly, how to follow. Sport offers many ways to celebrate and challenges to overcome. I’ve been blessed by many role models who have pushed me to expand my boundaries — from family members to coaches to teammates to competitors. To have the opportunity to pay it forward is my biggest blessing.

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