Atlanta, Ga. – Tennessee State head men’s basketball coach Travis Williams had quite an eventful week at this year’s Final Four in Atlanta. Williams attended head coaching meetings with some of the nation’s best throughout the week, was honored at a banquet where he was nominated for the Joe B. Hall Award and volunteered at the 2013 NCAA Youth Clinics.
At the meetings, Williams and other premier collegiate coaches talked x’s and o’s while also being briefed on new NCAA rules and regulations.
“This year’s meetings were a little bit different in that I was sitting there as a head coaches,” Williams, who was previously a TSU assistant for three seasons. “I learned a lot while there and the NCAA always sets up top-notch instruction classes.”
On Friday night, Williams attended the annual awards ceremony where he was a finalist for the Joe B. Hall award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball.
“Although I didn’t win the award, it felt good to mentioned in the same breath as some of these other coaches,” Williams said. “I’m still proud of what our team accomplished this season.”
Another honor awarded was the John Mclendon Award, given the nation’s top coach. The accolade is named after one of the best coaches in Tennessee State history and a trailblazer for civil rights in basketball.
McLendon became the first African American coach to win an integrated national championship. TSU went on to win the NAIA Division I Men's Tournament in 1957, 1958 and 1959, making him the first coach in history to win three consecutive NAIA championships.
Georgetown’s John Thompson III won this year’s award.
Finally, Williams wrapped up his Final Four experience with a community service event at the NCAA Youth Clinics.
Williams mentored the young children, as well as gave them a few pointers in regards to their basketball games.
“[Coach Williams’] participation was greatly appreciated not only by us, but by the NCAA and most importantly, the kids,” said Wade Hageman of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
Of course, Williams also took in a few of weekend’s Final Four games, but now he is back at working trying to get TSU there next season.