ADA – Al Johnson has been named Interim Athletic Director at East Central University effective July 26.
“Coach Johnson has more than 25 years of experience playing and coaching college and professional teams and building teams throughout the country,” said ECU President Katricia Pierson. “We are so pleased he is able to continue his role as head football coach as well as serve as the interim athletic director.”
“I am honored to have been asked to serve in this position,” Johnson said. “My plan is to continue the momentum for ECU athletics.”
Johnson has a wide variety of experience as both player and coach, coaching at NCAA Division I and NCAA Division III universities and at the high school level, also operating his own camp for up-and-coming players. He has great experience as a player on the field, playing for the University of Wisconsin-Madison for four seasons and spending seven years as a member of the National Football League.
In 2018, Johnson became the 19th head coach for the ECU Tigers. As head football coach the ECU Tigers are picking up tremendous momentum with a big road win against NCAA Division I FCS Tarleton State, 21-14. Johnson has also received tons of praise from fans and former football players and has raised thousands of dollars to support ECU Tiger Football.
Johnson is stepping into the role after Dr. Jeff Williams announced he will be stepping down as athletic director and returning to the classroom.
“I have really enjoyed my time as athletic director, but my kids are only young once and I feel I need to enjoy this time watching and encouraging them in sports and in their academic careers,” said Williams.
Since 2013, Williams has served as the director of athletics at ECU, guiding the Tigers through many changes in coaching and many victories for various teams. Prior to this role, he was the chair of ECU’s Department of Kinesiology.
“I am proud of the accomplishments across the athletic department and look forward to their continued success,” said Williams. “I would like to thank our coaches, staff and our student athletes for the way they represent ECU.”
“I want to thank Dr. Williams for the eight and a half years he has been leading ECU Athletics,” said Pierson.
Prior to serving as chair of ECU’s Kinesiology Department, Williams was director of ECU’s Athletic Training Education Program, Coordinator of the Master of Secondary Education – Sports Administration Program at ECU, and head athletic trainer at the Ada institution.
Williams began his career at ECU in 1999. He served as an assistant professor and was tenured at ECU in 2012 after receiving his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oklahoma in 2011. He obtained his Master of Human relations from OU in 1999 and a Bachelor of Science in health and sports sciences from OU, with an emphasis on exercise science, in 1996.