In a national search for the university’s third athletic director since 1963, Bentley stayed within the Route 128 belt, hiring Vaughn Williams, a highly respected administrator who has served as the senior associate AD at Boston College for the past three years. Bentley will be the latest stop in what has been an impressive 27-year run with leadership roles at college programs.
A 1992 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, where he was an all-Yankee Conference football player, the 51-year-old Williams will succeed Bob DeFelice, who has run the athletic program at Bentley since 1991. The 78-year-old DeFelice is not stepping away from the baseball diamond, however; he will return for his 53rd season as head coach in 2021.
“This is a tremendous opportunity in an unprecedented time to build on the university’s commitment to providing student-athletes with an experience that leads them to lifelong success,” said Williams, who will lead a department that fields 22 programs in the Division 2 Northeast-10 Conference, as well as its Division 1 men’s hockey team in Atlantic Hockey.
“I’m looking forward to serving Bentley student-athletes and helping them to be a force in everything they do, on and off the playing fields.”
After six years as the AD at Kennesaw State, Williams returned for his second tour at BC in 2017, hired by incoming athletic director Martin Jarmond to be one of his top administrators. At BC, Williams served as the sports administrator for football and men’s hockey, among other sports, and also oversaw the marketing and fan engagement team, campus recreation, and capital projects.
Williams was a potential candidate to replace Jarmond after he left for UCLA in May, but the school hired Patrick Kraft from Temple.
“Today begins a new era for Bentley University athletics,” said Dr. Andrew Shepardson, Bentley’s vice president for student affairs. “Bentley’s vision for athletics is to boldly pursue excellence in competition while building pride and tradition for our entire community, and Vaughn Williams is the leader to help us achieve that vision.
“I am excited to partner with Vaughn in the continued development of our student-athletes as leaders inside and outside the classroom.”
Williams also worked at BC from 1998-2004 as the assistant athletic director for operations and facilities. He also has had positions within the athletic departments at Utah, Toledo, and Connecticut.
“I’ve known Vaughn for over 15 years and have followed his career during that time frame,” said DeFelice. “Success has followed him at every stop and will continue to do so at Bentley.
“Bentley University could not have selected a better person for this position. His experience and knowledge speak volumes, but his greatest attributes are his people skills and integrity.”
BC men’s hockey coach Jerry York called the Williams hire “a home run” for Bentley.
“He spends a lot of time with coaches,” said York. “I love the positive vibes he has.”