- Tom Williams
Tom Williams is a 29-year veteran in the Office of Student Life, the academic advising arm of the Athletic Association. Williams has been providing personalized professional guidance and counseling for the Gator basketball team in numerous areas since 1986. A regular on Gator road trips, his tutoring and mentoring extends beyond his campus office. Williams also assists in NCAA academic compliance and certification.
Under Williams, the Gator basketball team has earned a league-best 85 Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll selections. In 2014, Florida placed a conference-record eight players on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
In 2014, one of the most notable scholar-athletes in Florida history graduated, as Patric Young wrapped up a decorated career. Young was the first three-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and was named an Academic All-American as a senior. Young also earned the Ben Hill Griffin Award as a senior and was on the SEC Community Service Team as a junior.
A Florida player has earned SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year six of the past nine seasons, including repeat honors from Lee Humphrey (2006 and ’07) and Young (2012, ’13 and ’14), along with Ray Shipman (2009). Humphrey also earned second-team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America honors in 2006 and first-team recognition in 2007.
Matt Bonner became the first basketball player in Gator basketball history and just the third athlete in school history to be recognized as the Academic All-American of the Year when he earned that honor in 2002 and then repeated the honor in 2003. Bonner was selected as a Verizon Academic All-American each year from 2001-03. In addition, Bonner was honored as the first recipient of the College Basketball Student-Athlete of the Year Award.
The 1997 and 1998 Gator squads set then-league records with six Academic Honor Roll selections, a number matched again in Florida’s national title year of 2007.
“Tom Williams and Dr. Keith Carodine (Senior Associate Athletic Director for Academic Affairs), make up one of the best athletic academic teams in the country,” says Billy Donovan. “Tom is very valuable to our staff and has played a key role in the overall development of our players.”
Williams, who is originally from Tarpon Springs, Fla., graduated from Florida in 1978 with a degree in English Education and earned his Master’s Degree in Education at Mercer in 1984.