Dec 16, 2013 04:05 PM EST
Three Days Later, Marquette AD Larry Williams' Resignation Continues To Remain A Mystery
Marquette athletic director Larry Williams resigned on Friday. Many were shocked by his announcement, including head basketball coach Buzz Williams, who found out after Friday's practice, according to ESPN.
"I'm thankful for what he has done at Marquette," the notable head coach told ESPN. "I have great faith in (interim president) Father Robert Wild and Mr. Cords."
Mr. Cords would be the school's former AD, Bill Cords, 70. He held the position from 1987 to 2006, and took over the same job at Brookfield Academy, an independent K-12 school in Wisconsin, in 2010.
Williams, who only started at Marquette two years ago, will "pursue leadership opportunities outside the university," whatever that means, according to ESPN. Other than that brief explanation, his resignation remains a mystery three days later.
Likely, the department's overall performance, and the performance of its most prominent program, men's basketball, had little to do with his departure. Buzz Williams' squads have been solid throughout his 7 years, none more so than the last three years, which include two Sweet Sixteen appearances, 75 wins, and last year's Elite Eight finish -- and boasting a surprising haul of NBA talent. (2012 graduate Jae Crowder is the most recent that comes to mind; 2009 grad Wes Matthews is having a big season this year for the Trailblazers). Coach Williams' tenure has probably been better or at least equal to that of current Indiana Coach Tom Crean, who walked the sidelines for the Golden Eagles from 1999 to 2008 and led the 2003 team featuring future NBA pros Dwayne Wade, Travis Diener, and Steve Novak to the Final Four.
Other than basketball, the school's athletic program isn't very big -- they don't have a football team or anything out of the ordinary like men's volleyball or wrestling -- but has been recently very good. The men's soccer team made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament this fall, while the women's team was upset in the first round as a two seed (their first home loss since 2011). Women's volleyball also made it the tournament and advanced to the second round. Williams was also present last year to usher in men's lacrosse inaugural season, in which they finished 5-8.
Relations between Williams and the school appear amicable.
"We want to thank Larry for leading our student athletes, coaches and athletic staff in on our 16 competitive athletic programs for the past two years," Wild told the Business Journal of Milwaukee. "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."
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