Director of Athletics
Phone: (208) 769-3348
Al Williams was appointed athletics director at North Idaho College in 2003. He brings more than 20 years of management-level experience in financial administration and has nearly 20 years experience in coaching and athletics administration.
Prior to NIC, Williams served as the men's assistant basketball coach at the University of Denver where his responsibilities included recruiting, scheduling, sports camps, and monitoring student-athletes' academic success. While at the University of Denver, he also held the position of assistant director of athletics development from 2001 to 2002. In that role, he managed all athletic fund-raising activities, developed community development programs for minority groups, managed booster groups, and coordinated special events.
Williams earned an associate's degree in business from NIC in 1979 while playing basketball for NIC's nationally-ranked team that finished 26-6. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Idaho, where he played basketball as well, and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Idaho State University. Williams served as basketball coach at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago for four years and honed his skills in executive-level management positions in healthcare, internal audit, international mining, and nonprofit corporate sectors before entering the higher education arena.
During Williams' tenure, the Cardinals have experienced exceptional success on a national and regional level. From 2011-13 four Cardinal programs have been ranked #1 in the nation in the NJCAA polls: Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Wrestling.
Since Williams’ hire, four of the Cardinals' five women's programs have earned their first-ever NJCAA national tournament appearances with outstanding results, and consistent national rankings. Women’s basketball won the 2011 National Championship, and Softball (second-place national finish in 2007), soccer (third-place national finish in 2008), and volleyball (fourth-2006, fifth-2010) have all earned top five finishes during this time. Women's basketball also finished eighth nationally in 2010 and ninth in 2009, and the recently created women's golf team has earned four straight national tournament appearances, finishing 9th in the nation last season. Volleyball has now earned eight national tournament appearances since 2004, including four consecutive from 2010-13.
The men's programs have also experienced similar success. Wrestling won the 2013 national title, its 14th overall, while also adding four national runner-up finishes during the last seven years. Men's soccer earned four consecutive Region 18 championships from 2005 to 2008, while earning national recognition in the NJCAA polls. Men's basketball boasts Scenic West Athletic Conference regular season championships in 2010, 2009, and 2006, and earned the school’s first ever No. 1 ranking in the 2011 NJCAA poll. In addition, the men's golf program has earned five straight national tournament appearances from 2009-13, while earning a top 10 national ranking in 2013.
Individually, the Cardinals have garnered unprecedented national recognition, earning more All-American honors in the past five years than any period in NIC history. Academically, the Cardinals have earned at least two Academic All-American team honors annually during Williams' tenure, including six teams with a team grade point average of 3.0 or better in the 2011-12 fiscal year, and a 2.97 overall department GPA in the 2012-13 school year.
Williams transitioned the Cardinal Athletic teams from the prestigious NJCAA to the regional NWAC for financial reasons, excluding wrestling, beginning in 2014 and completed in 2016. The Cardinals teams have continued to prosper in the new league winning East Region championships within the first two seasons for softball and men's soccer, and an NWAC championship for women's golf, runner up finish for men's soccer, third place finish for women's soccer, and an individual championships for men's golf. Indoor teams joined the NWAC in Fall 2016, and volleyball made an immediate impact, winning the East Region title.
The North Idaho College Cardinals athletic motto: Building on a Tradition of Excellence!