SHIPROCK— Shiprock High School has named Nick Williams as the Chieftains new athletic director.
Williams, originally from San Antonio, comes to Shiprock from Grants High School, where he served as the head football coach last season, adding to his long resume and athletic background. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in health from Prairie View A&M University outside of Houston, where he played fullback for three years. After graduation, Williams continued his education at Southwest Baptist University in Missouri, earning a Master's in Curriculum and Instruction while serving as a graduate assistant and intern in the athletic department.
Williams then began his coaching career spending three years in the college ranks. He coached at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa in 2008, and then as an assistant coach at Trinity University where he worked with running backs in 2009 and the defensive line in 2010. After the 2010 season, Williams returned to San Antonio to head the football program at Burbank High School for two years before heading to Grants in 2013.
"I really liked the fact that he has a strong athletic base with quite a bit of experience and some post-secondary experience as well, working with the college ranks a little bit," Shiprock principal Rick Edwards said of Williams. "To me that was a big plus because we're really trying to push our kids, academically, athletically, into that next step."
In his one season at Grants, Williams said the team struggled, finishing 2-8, but he doesn't count the season as a failure. Six Grants players signed letters of intent to continue their football careers at the collegiate level, and Williams hopes he can help Chieftain athletes reach the college ranks as well.
"It is my duty as an AD to make sure that if our kids want to go to the next level, it's my duty to make sure they do," Williams said. "That will be one of the things I strive for, to get both female and male athletes to the next level."
It was Williams' passion for helping students to the college level that stood out to Edwards during the hiring process. Edwards said he received about two dozen applications, interviewing six candidates, before landing on Williams, adding that he feels lucky Williams, the number one choice, is joining the staff.
"He kind of shares my philosophy of compassionate leadership, making sure kids have the support they need, and being proactive rather than reactive when it comes to a kid that's at risk or in need," Edwards said. "That combined with his athletic background I thought he was the best candidate."
In addition to being named the Chieftains athletic director — Williams said he always aspired to step into administration — Williams will serve as Shiprock High's dean of students, a role he is not used to, but one he says he'll strive to be the best at.
"I'll respond to adversity and make an adjustment any way I can to make sure Shiprock is a success, both in athletics and as a school," Williams said.