Jazz Williams enjoyed his time as a high school student athlete at West Catholic High School. Before graduating in 1997, Williams became involved in school activities, particularly basketball.

Some 26 years later, Williams has come full circle.

This week, Williams began a new venture as West Catholic Prep’s athletic director. After serving as his alma mater’s assistant principal for student life, Williams accepted the new challenge of AD with enthusiasm, passion, and plans to employ new strategies as he and his coaches continue to tackle formidable opponents in the esteemed Philadelphia Catholic League.

“I knew that I wanted to come back to West Catholic in some capacity,” said Williams, 43. “The school provided me so much as a student in terms of broadening my perspective for my future.”

Much of that “perspective” took place on the basketball court.

As a point guard and three-year starter for the Burrs, Williams was named second-team All-Catholic and honorable mention all-city as a senior. Among his more memorable games was when he scored 12 points and dished six assists to help West Catholic defeat Monsignor Bonner, 45-44, in a 1996 Southern Division pre-playoff victory.

Williams followed his love of basketball at Manor College for two years, and then transferred to Millersville University for two seasons before graduating. At Millersville, Williams started 42 games and averaged 27.3 minutes, 13.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.3 steals.

“Still, I didn’t think about becoming the athletic director,” said Williams, who ultimately earned a master’s degree at Rosemont College. “But as I gained experience as an administrator in other areas, leading the athletic program became a goal and a natural fit for my career.”

West Catholic school president Andrew Brady effusively welcomed Williams back to an institution that helped guide him to success both off and on the playing field.

“I’ve known Jazz Williams for 10-plus years,” said Brady. “In all of the different roles that Jazz has served at West Catholic, he’s always been a tremendous role model for our young men and women.

“He’s a living representation of what a West Catholic Prep education is all about, and I couldn’t be more excited for Jazz to be back on our team at West Catholic Prep and lead our athletic programming.”

Although he described himself as “very competitive,” Williams embraces a holistic approach as an administrator.

“Providing student athletes with opportunities to excel through sports is my number one goal,” said Williams. “If we make sure we help produce quality young people, the winning will take care of itself.”

Williams encapsulated a poignant sentiment about what West Catholic means to him personally.

“Definitely,” said Williams, “it’s home.”


Contact John Knebels at jknebels@gmail.com or on Twitter @johnknebels