By Emma Lucas ’23
This fall, there will be six new teams added to the Colleges: William Smith (WS) bowling, WS volleyball, Hobart swim and dive, Hobart baseball, Hobart and WS alpine skiing! The Herald sat down with Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Brian Miller and new WS volleyball head coach Derryk Williams to find out what they have to say about the new changes in the athletic department and the new volleyball program.
On the administration side of athletics, Brian Miller has built up a “dream team” around him that helps him around the inner workings of the athletic department. Liz Dennison, Chris Gray, and Sean Cunningham ’17 make up this dream team. Each of them plays a special role in the decision-making process of the department and help make it run smoothly. Miller is excited about the addition of the new teams saying “there is a rise of excitement around athletics” with the fall and winter teams this year going the extra mile– especially WS soccer, Hobart football, Hobart basketball, and Hobart ice hockey.
HWS President Joyce P. Jacobsen has made the introduction of new sports teams to campus part of her mission. As a result of her collaboration with the Athletics leadership, there will be 12 new teams in the next five years. Phase one is during the 2022-23 school year with the addition of WS bowling, WS volleyball, Hobart swim and dive, Hobart baseball, and Hobart and WS alpine skiing. Phase two is during the 2023-24 academic year with the additions of Hobart volleyball, indoor and outdoor track and field for both Hobart and WS, and softball. By spring 2024, there will be 35 teams on the HWS campus.
With these additions, there are plans to bulk up the support staff for all teams including equipment managers, athletic communication staff, and athletic training staff. Miller states that he and Jacobsen hope this will bring new students to campus that would not have otherwise considered the Colleges and will lift school morale following the Covid years.
As a new team coming in fall 2022, WS volleyball found head coach Derryk Williams. Williams played club volleyball at Ithaca before starting his coaching career at Ithaca in 2015, then moving to Syracuse University to coach there the last four years. Williams is already recruiting students both on and off campus. There is prospective representation from California, Texas, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, Kentucky, and Tennessee, along with two WS students already committed. He says that the easiest selling point is the athletic success of HWS teams. Williams is enthusiastic about being on campus and being surrounded by the athletic success and he aims for his team to win a national championship. While recruiting, he looks for women who have the drive to win, compete and be part of a team. Hard work and dedication go a long way in the world of sports.
Miller is very excited about Williams and the direction he will take the volleyball program because it will be built from the ground up. Volleyball will join Liberty League, competing against all teams except RPI. Williams says that “whatever the tone is at the start, that is what it will be for the rest of the programs future”. He says that coming into a brand-new program, the enthusiasm and excitement around volleyball is amazing.