Thomas Williams, American University wrestling alum, is stepping down as head coach at Benedictine College, the Kansas-based school announced Wednesday.
The press statement said that Williams left to pursue a career away from coaching.
Williams joined the staff at Benedictine as a graduate assistant in fall 2012, but was quickly elevated to Interim head coach after the departure of Cy Wainwright in November of that year. Williams was named the second head coach for Benedictine Wrestling in February of 2013.
"Thomas took over the wrestling program under difficult circumstances," said Benedictine Athletic Director Charlie Gartenmayer. "We thank him for his efforts in during that transition and for building a solid foundation for the Benedictine wrestling program."
With Williams at the helm, the Ravens placed within the top 25 in the team standings at the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) wrestling championships three times. In addition, Benedictine had four wrestlers earn a total of NAIA All-American honors at Nationals.
Williams' wrestlers also found success in the classroom. Five Ravens earned eight total Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors during Williams' tenure… while the Benedictine program was recognized by the National Wrestling Coaches Association in April of 2016 after earning a 3.3068 team GPA to finish second among NAIA programs that season in team GPA.
Prior to becoming a coach, Williams made a name for himself as a wrestler at NCAA Div. I American University for Mark Cody and Teague Moore. Williams was a four-year starter at 125 pounds, placing twice at the EIWA (Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association) conference championships. In addition, Williams was a two-time NCWA (National Collegiate Wrestling Association) Academic All-American.
Williams was appreciative of the opportunity to lead the Raven wrestling program.
"I would like to thank Charlie Gartenmayer and President Stephen Minnis for giving me the opportunity to coach the Benedictine College wrestling team," Williams said. "When I took over the program I wanted to build a team of champions in the classroom and on the mat.
"I believe that we accomplished that during my time coaching here, and I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to work at such an amazing institution. Go Ravens!"
Benedictine, a four-year, private college located in Atchison, Kansas, is already conducting a nationwide search to find Williams' replacement.