Rich Williams begins his sixth season as head golf coach and seventh with the Phoenix golf program in 2018-19. He also serves as the department's Game Operations Director, a title added during the summer of 2016.
In his first season as head coach, he led the Cumberland men to its first-ever regular season championship, claiming the 2013-14 Mid-South Conference title. The Phoenix won the conference's fall event and placed second at the spring tournament. Williams earned Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year honors as well.
Cumberland won three times during Fall 2013 and placed second in its other tournament. The club also finished second in 3-of-4 spring events en route to the regular season championship.
The Phoenix posted its first-ever Mid-South Conference tournament championship in 2016-17, overcoming a nine-shot deficit on the final day to earn the automatic berth into the NAIA Championships, just the second trip to the national tournament for the program and the first since 2009. The Phoenix followed that with a wire-to-wire victory in the 2018 Mid-South Conference Tournament for its second consecutive trip to the NAIA Championships.
On the women's side, Cumberland's 2014-15 squad featured five freshmen and two seniors and claimed a pair of tournament titles in the fall and a second-place showing in the Mid-South Fall Invitational. CU ended the season third in the conference tournament.
The Phoenix received an at-large berth into the NAIA Championships in 2016-17, the program's first-ever trip to the national tournament, and Williams was voted Mid-South Conference Co-Coach of the Year by his peers. Cumberland followed that with another at-large berth into the NAIA Championships in 2018.
The Franklin, Tenn., native has worked in a variety of roles within the golf industry, including as an assistant and head professional at Indian Hills Golf Club in Murfreesboro, The Little Course as Aspen Grove, The Polo Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and Gaylord Springs Golf Club in Nashville. He was an independent sales representative in the golf industry from 1998-2007.
In his Game Operations role, Williams oversees all aspects of set-up and breakdown for home athletic events at football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, baseball and softball, including staffing for ticketing and marketing, security for officials, locker rooms for visiting teams and scheduling for the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Williams received his bachelor's in Psychology from Middle Tennessee in 1992 and is currently working on his master's in Public Service Management at Cumberland.