Debbie Williamson, Ed.D., the NCAA’s national coordinator of women’s basketball officiating and secretary-rules editor, has accepted the position of coordinator of women’s basketball officiating with the American Athletic Conference and Big East Conference.
In addition to her work with the conferences beginning on Sept. 1, Williamson will continue in her duties with the NCAA in a limited capacity during the transition this fall. A national search for her replacement will begin immediately.
“I am very grateful for the opportunities afforded me at the NCAA over the past eight years,” said Williamson, who joined the NCAA in 2006 as secretary-rules editor and added the role of national coordinator of women’s basketball officiating in 2011. “We have made great strides on both the rules and officiating fronts because of the teamwork amongst key stakeholders in our game that include the rules committee, WCBO, WBCA, coordinators of officials and the officials themselves. I am very appreciative for the support I was provided to help move rules and officiating forward. There is still much work to be done, but the future is promising.”
During her time as the national coordinator and secretary-rules editor with the NCAA, Williamson assisted with the formation of a national officials working group, was instrumental in the development of the online NCAA Women's Basketball Officiating Center Court hosted on the ArbiterSports website and led women’s basketball officiating efforts that included enhanced consistency during the regular and postseason. Under Williamson, the NCAA emphasized more consistent rules enforcement, consensus building between the major stakeholders in women's basketball, a more active regional advisor program, an increase in accountability of Division I officials and a more comprehensive selection system. As a result of the additional emphasis on consistent rules enforcement and freedom of movement during the 2013-14 season, scoring was up 5.62 points per game for the Division I regular season, with field goal percentages increasing by 1.6 percent.
“Debbie will continue her great work in the women’s basketball officiating world and we wish her well with this new opportunity,” said Anucha Browne, NCAA vice president for women’s basketball championships. “Her efforts in leading the NCAA national officiating program and as secretary-rules editor over the last eight years are to be celebrated and we salute her many accomplishments.”
A student-athlete at Louisiana Tech University in the early 1980’s in both basketball and softball, Williamson (formerly Primeaux) helped lead the Lady Techsters to four Women’s Final Four appearances and was co-captain of the 1984 team. Louisiana Tech won the first ever NCAA women’s basketball national championship in 1982.
Her coaching career included being the head women’s volleyball coach at Louisiana Tech (1985-86), assistant women’s basketball coach at Southeastern Louisiana University (1986-87), and assistant basketball (1987-91) and head softball coach at Georgia Southern University (1993-94).
From 1995 to 1998, Williamson was an instructor for health and kinesiology at North Harris Montgomery County Community College. In 2001, she joined the staff at Campbell University as an instructor in the department of exercise science. She remained at Campbell until 2004, when she left to join North Carolina State University as a teaching assistant professor in the Physical Education Department.
Williamson served on the officiating staffs for several conferences, including the Big South, Colonial Athletic, Peach Belt, South Athletic, Carolinas – Virginia Athletic, USA South and Old Dominion Athletic. She worked in numerous NCAA tournament games, including three regionals at the NCAA Division II level.
An author of numerous publications and research abstracts in sports management, Williamson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Louisiana Tech in 1985, followed with a Master of Science degree in health and physical education in 1986 also from Louisiana Tech. Williamson received a Doctorate of Education degree in 2000 from the University of Houston.
“I am excited about the opportunity to work more closely with coaches and players in my new role at the American Athletic Conference and Big East Conference,” said Williamson. “Mike Aresco and Val Ackerman have shown great leadership, in particular, in women's basketball and I look forward to learning from and working with them. This is a great opportunity to be more intimately involved in basketball and officiating, which is my passion."
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 450,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.NCAA.org and www.NCAA.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.
NCAA women’s basketball is characterized by strong fundamentals, high quality of play, sportsmanship, role model student-athletes and family oriented entertainment. The latest NCAA Graduation Success Rate figures show 85 percent of NCAA Division I women’s basketball players graduate. In terms of the NCAA Academic Progress Rate, which measures term-by-term academic success, the overall score is 973, well above the NCAA benchmark of 930.
For the latest news in regard to the Women’s Final Four, visit www.ncaa.com/womensfinalfour.