The Williams File
· 2019 NCAA Coach of the Year
· Two NCAA titles (2007 and 2018)
· Two-time Vanderbilt Coach of Year
· 14 All-America first team honors
· Six NTCA Rookies of Year
· Three Players of Year
· 34 tournament titles
· Program annually boasts one of Vanderbilt Athletics’ best grade-point averages
· College baseball and football background
· Competed in a number of “Tough Mudder” endurance races
· Married (Melissa) with four sons
John Williamson has taken pride in watching his Vanderbilt bowling teams win “both ways” he likes to put it. Winning both ways means achieving success on the lanes and in the classrooms — two parallel destinations where Vanderbilt University ranks among the national leaders.
Williamson has guided the Commodores to two NCAA championships, the first coming in 2007 and the most recent in 2018. While his approach is definitely “team first”, many individual Commodores have earned success on national and international stages. Vanderbilt has had a nation-leading 13 first-team All-Americans and six NTCA Rookies of the Year.
Vanderbilt bowlers shine academically. The team and multiple program members annually are found on the NCTA and Vanderbilt academic honor rolls. In 2018, Kristin Quah won the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award with her 3.95 grade-point average in biomedical and electrical engineering. Quah went on to win the 2019 H. Boyd McWhorter Award, presented annually to the outstanding female student-athlete in the SEC, and received a $20,000 post-graduate scholarship. She was only the third winner in Vanderbilt’s history. Quah earned the extremely selective NCAA post-graduate scholarship and was named CoSIDA Academic All-America second team. All said, Quah compiled a 3.97 grade-point average, twice winning the prestigious NCAA Elite 90 Award for having the highest grade-point average at the NCAA Bowling Championship.
It’s more than bowling and academics at Vanderbilt. The department has an innovative international travel program and Williamson has encouraged individuals to participate. He has led travels to France, Italy and Australia over the years with the entire roster while individuals have taken service trips to far-away places such as Morocco, Tanzania, Costa Rica and Cuba.
Additionally, when feasible Williamson arranges his tournament travel to allow for brief side trips to historical places such as Gettysburg, the Texas Book Depository, One World Trade Center, Philadelphia’s Independence Park and so forth — places most team members have never visited.
His success has been recognized in a number of ways, including being named Vanderbilt’s Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2018. The program’s high profile has found its way before the cameras of Nashville’s “Pickler and Ben” show during the summer of 2018.
Prior to his service with Vanderbilt’s baseball team, he was in Vanderbilt’s athletic development office.
He is a native of Franklin, Tennessee, and a graduate of Ole Miss. He was a member of the Ole Miss football team for two seasons after earning all-state football and all-district baseball honors at Nashville’s Franklin Road Academy, where he is a member of its athletic hall of fame.
He and his wife Melissa reside in Franklin with their four boys: Landon (13), Eli (9), Gabe (6) and Tucker Jay (2).