If you missed the terrible news, former Vanderbilt Athletic Director David Williams passed away in Nashville on Friday.

Williams died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The cause of death has not been released at this time. Williams was the first African-American AD in SEC history. He served in the role for 15 years in Nashville.

“David Williams stood tall on this campus, in this city and in college athletics nationally as an incomparable leader, role model and dear friend to me and so many others. We are devastated by this loss,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said via statement following the news. “His impact on our community is immeasurable and will be felt for generations to come. We offer our deepest condolences to Gail, his children and the entire Williams family on this immense loss.”

Vanderbilt’s new AD, Malcolm Turner, also released a statement:

“The Vanderbilt family is saddened to learn of the passing of David Williams. David authored a remarkable legacy at Vanderbilt, one defined by blazing trails and championing the student-athlete. In my short time at Vanderbilt, I was fortunate to have cultivated a friendship with David, who most proudly coveted his role as a husband and father. All of Commodore Nation mourns the loss of David, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Gail, his four children, his six grandchildren and his great-grandson.”

Following the news, reactions have begun to pour in, including those of Vanderbilt head coach, Derek Mason:


As well as Southeastern Conference commissioner, Greg Sankey: