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Ole Miss track hires new assistant coach

Reported by: Jim Holder
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Updated: 8/06 7:01 pm
OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Brian O’Neal added head coaching experience to his Ole Miss track & field staff on Wednesday with the addition of Rafael “Ray” Williams.

For the last four years, Williams has served as the head coach of the track & field and cross country programs at Lincoln University (Oxford, Pennsylvania). He joins the Rebels’ staff as an assistant coach specializing in sprints, hurdles and relays.

“I am extremely pleased to be adding Ray Williams to our track and field staff,” O’Neal said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge in several areas. We look forward to his contributions and we're glad to welcome him to Rebel Nation."

In four years at Lincoln, Williams sent several athletes to the NCAA Division II Championships, including the first in school history in long jumper Diane Lindsey in 2012. He also coached his athletes to multiple individual CIAA league titles and this past year boasted a USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree in sprinter Miles Green. He also mentored men’s and women’s cross country runners to all-conference honors.

Williams arrived at Lincoln from a highly decorated NCAA Division II program at Grand Valley State University, which has garnered a reputation for attracting and developing top talent. During his six years as an assistant coach at GVSU, Williams specialized with the sprints, hurdles and relays while helping the both the men and women compete for national titles each year. During his time there, GVSU boasted 99 NCAA Division II Track & Field USTFCCCA All-Academic athletes, 55 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Champions, one USATF Junior National Qualifier and one Canadian Athletics qualifier. In all, GVSU churned out 25 NCAA Division II All-Americans and 70 NCAA qualifiers, breaking 21 school records in the process.

Prior to coaching at Grand Valley, Williams was a men’s and women’s assistant track & field coach at Marquette University for two years, where he concentrated on sprinters, hurdlers and jumpers.

His coaching career also includes stops at the University of Detroit Mercy, Western Michigan University and the University of Chicago.

Williams, a native of Chicago, has worked diligently at many national camps throughout his career. In 2012, he was appointed Secretary of the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). He has served as an instructor at the UCLA Speed and Power Camp, directed the Speed and Power Development Camp at Grand Valley State from 2005-2010 and served as the keynote speaker and clinician at the 2010 Chicago Public Schools Track & Field Clinic. Williams completed a master’s degree in education at GVSU and graduated from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois, in 1995 with a degree in urban sociology.

During his undergraduate years at North Central, Williams was an NCAA Division III All-American in the 110-meter hurdles in 1995, team captain and three-time CCIW Conference Champion. His efforts helped the Cardinals on their way to a Division III Outdoor National Championship in 1994. Williams was also a member of the DC Capitals Track and Field Club teams from 1996-2000.

Williams and his wife, Danyual, have two sons: Daniel and Kamran.

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