Williams promoted to associate head coach at Michigan State

Chris Williams coaching Michigan State in a dual meet against Northwestern (Photo/Sam Janicki,

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State wrestling head coach Roger Chandler announced Monday that longtime assistant and Spartan alum Chris Williams has been promoted to associate head coach.

An All-American during his wrestling career at MSU, Williams previously served as an assistant coach at Michigan State for eight years under Tom Minkel (2005-13) and three years under Roger Chandler (2016-2019).

"I knew when Chris came back to Michigan State three years ago that he was the perfect fit to help take this program to the next level," said Chandler. "Chris embodies what it means to be a Spartan and has very high expectations and goals for every student-athlete. He brings a tireless work ethic every day and truly has a passion for coaching which is evident in the development of our team."

In his three years as an assistant coach under Chandler, Williams has helped elevate the MSU program from a 5-10 dual record in 2016-17 to a 10-8 record in duals this past season.

Williams briefly served as the head coach at Adrian College from 2014-2016, where he resurrected a Bulldog wrestling program that was dormant from 1984-2015. In his one season as head coach prior to returning to East Lansing, Williams led the Bulldogs to a 7-3 dual record and a 22nd place finish at the 2016 NCAA Division III Championships where Bulldog wrestler Angus Arthur took fourth-place at 197 pounds.

In his return to the Spartan wrestling room, Williams has worked extensively with junior Rayvon Foley, who became Michigan State's first NCAA place winner of the Roger Chandler era following a seventh-place finish at the 2019 NCAA Wrestling Championships. Foley enters the 2019-20 season with an overall career record of 64-17 which includes a 29-6 record in duals and a 35-11 record in tournaments. In his first stop as an assistant at MSU, Williams helped Spartan wrestlers earn All-America honors on eight occasions, including 2009 NCAA Champion Franklin Gomez and four-time All-American Nick Simmons.

A native of Fowlerville, Michigan, Williams wrestled at MSU from 1997-2002, earning All-America honors in 2001 at 125 pounds. He recorded 102 career wins, which ranks 18th most in program history, and was named a team captain as a senior. A two-time NCAA Championships qualifier (2001, 2002), Williams took seventh at the NCAA Championships in 2001 and placed third at the Big Ten Championships in 2001 and seventh in 2002. He won a career-high 34 matches as a junior.

Williams was a two-time Michigan high school state champion and four-time all-state honoree at Fowlerville High School, compiling a 195-10 record, including a 101-2 mark his last two seasons. He also had extensive success in the freestyle and Greco-Roman ranks as well. He was a Greco-Roman Junior Fila National Champion in 1998, and took Greco-Roman University national champion honors in 2001.

Williams received his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies from Michigan State in 2002. Following his time in East Lansing, Williams earned his certificate in secondary education from Eastern Michigan in social studies and economics in 2011.


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