Chuck Williams (Marist '99) is in his fifth year as Assistant Coach/Women's Track and Cross Country. His affiliation with the Marist track and cross country programs dates back to 1995, when he arrived from upstate Central Square High School as a freshman distance runner on Coach Pete Colaizzo's cross country and track team. Since that time, no one has done more to advance the overall state of the men's and women's track programs at Marist than Chuck Williams.
As an athlete, he was part of record-setting teams that ushered in a new era of competitiveness in the men's program during the late 1990s. He was a varsity cross country runner, and a versatile performer on the track during his four-year stint on the team.
After graduation, Williams remained an integral part of the program, moving his way up the coaching ranks. He first started out as a volunteer assistant coach, and was then elevated to the top assistant coach - in charge of sprinting, hurdling and field-event athletes. During that timeframe, Williams oversaw the complete renaissance of that area of the program, with more than 70 school records set or broken during his tenure. Many of the current school records set in the men's and women's sprinting, hurdling and jumping disciplines were established during the early- and mid-2000s, when Williams was coaching and recruiting these record-setting athletes.
"That timeframe, in the 2000s, was really our glory days in those events,'' Director of Men's and Women's Track and Cross Country Pete Colaizzo said. "We became relevant and important in the non-distance races, and those athletes made their marks in big championship meets. Chuck was the main driving force behind all of that success.''
With the retirement of longtime women's head coach Phil Kelly in the spring of 2008, Williams gained responsibilities with the women's cross country and track programs. He has been the architect of a new era of greatness in the women's cross country and track teams.
Numerous, long-standing women's distance and relay records have come tumbling down in the past four years. In addition, the women's cross country team won an ECAC University Division title during Williams' tenure. And several Williams-coached athletes have qualified for USA Junior and ECAC Championship events in the short four-year stretch in which Williams has guided the women's team.
"Chuck has taken over where Phil left off,'' Colaizzo said. "The women's program is thriving under his guidance, and we are proud of the direction he has taken the team. The future is very bright, thanks to all of his hard work.''
Colaizzo added: "No one has done more to advance our program in the past two decades as Chuck. As a men's distance team athlete, assistant coach and now head of our women's program, Chuck has had a hand in every successful milestone moment in our program's history."
Williams, 36, is a high school teacher in the Wappingers Central School District. He and his wife Tina live in the Town of Poughkeepsie with their son John and daughter Madison.