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Corey Williams tapped to lead Stetson men’s basketball

Basketball Coach Corey WilliamsStetson University Director of Athletics Jeff Altier announced on Monday the selection of Corey Williams as the new head coach of the Hatters men’s basketball program.

Williams, the 21st head coach in program history, takes the helm at Stetson after 13 years of collegiate coaching experience.  A native of Macon, Ga., Williams played point guard at Oklahoma State. He had a lengthy career as a professional player, including a stint with the Chicago Bulls where he was a part of the 1993 NBA Championship Team, before starting his coaching career.

“I’m excited,” Williams said of the opportunity. “Stetson is a University that I played in the past when I was at Florida State, and to be able to lead this program means an awful lot to me and my family. I knew back when I first started that my ambition was always to be a head coach. For Stetson University to give me this opportunity, I’m very grateful. I’m humbled, I’m grateful, and the truth of the matter is that I’m ready to go to work.”

“Stetson University is privileged to be able to call Corey Williams our new men’s basketball head coach,” Altier said.  “Corey is a winner, he has worked with and played for some of the finest minds in the world of basketball and as such he understands the discipline, commitment and strategy that is needed to be successful.  Everywhere Corey has played or coached his teams have won and won big, and I am excited to have him as a part of the Stetson team.”

“Corey has the perfect blend of coaching talent and personal warmth that we were seeking,” Stetson University President Dr. Wendy Libby said.  “He will be a great and winning head coach for Stetson University.”

Most recently, he was an assistant coach at Florida State. His career with the Seminoles coincided with the team’s “winningest” five-year period, beginning in 2007-08. During this time, the team won its first ACC Championship in basketball, had a school-record run of four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, had four consecutive years of double digit wins in ACC play, produced five NBA Draft picks, had 16 wins over nationally ranked teams and appeared in the national rankings in four straight seasons.

Corey Williams and family

Meet the Williams family (l to r): Jourdan, Corey, Jr. (CJ), Nicole, and Corey, Sr.

“The recent success of the Atlantic Sun Conference men’s basketball schools, particularly Florida Gulf Coast University’s historic run in the NCAA tournament, coupled with Stetson’s much improved season, elevated the stature of the Stetson coaching job,” Altier went on to say.  “Consequently, we received tremendous interest from outstanding coaches across the country, whose experience and credentials were far superior to those in any coaching search I have been a part of at Stetson.”

Williams assisted in the development of the Seminoles into one of the best programs in the ACC with the perseverance that has also made him an outstanding recruiter of top talent. Williams’ recruiting roots have allowed him to bring the nation’s top talent to wherever he has coached.

Williams was instrumental in Florida State’s run to the Sweet 16 of the 2011 NCAA Tournament as well as the 2012 ACC Championship. He helped lead Oral Roberts to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances as a coach and Oklahoma State to consecutive NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances as a player.

With victories over fifth ranked Notre Dame and No. 20 Texas A&M in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, Williams helped the Seminoles advance to within one win of the Elite Eight for only the third time in school history. The Seminoles’ wins over Notre Dame and Texas A&M marked only the second time in school history that Florida State defeated ranked teams in consecutive games during the NCAA Tournament.

Williams also facilitated Florida State’s reputation as one of the nation’s top defensive teams. The Seminoles have achieved national renown in multiple statistical categories. Williams’ defensive background helped Florida State finish the 2010 and 2011 seasons as the field goal percentage defense national statistical champions. The Seminoles ranked fifth nationally in that category in 2012.

The Seminoles’ .363 opponents’ field goal percentage in 2012 was the lowest mark by an ACC team since 1960 — a span of 52 years — and was the seventh lowest mark in ACC history.

Williams, 43, earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Oklahoma State in 2002. He and his wife, Nicole, have two children: Jourdan (13) and Corey, Jr. (9).

Read more about Corey Williams and Stetson basketball at GoHatters.com.