Former men's volleyball player Williams to serve as assistant
February 1, 2019 | Lynchburg, Va.
Former Liberty University men's volleyball libero Josiah Williams will be on the sideline as the team's new assistant coach for tonight's "Midnight Mayhem" match against Virginia Tech at 11:59 p.m. in the Vines Center. He replaces four-year Assistant Coach Ryan Culkin, a former teammate, who stepped down last summer.
Williams will work primarily with the Division II team and will also focus on the Flames' passing and back-row defense.
"A lot of things worked out for him to be here and it was all in God's providence," Flames Head Coach Bryan Rigg said. "Williams knows the game very well and his overall coaching philosophy aligns with mine in that he believes success comes out of relationships and hard work."
Williams, who graduated with a nursing degree in 2016, has been working as a nurse in the Redding (Pa.) Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center and traveling on medical mission trips to Europe and Central America. Before accepting the position on Rigg's staff, he secured a job in the emergency room at Lynchburg General Hospital in December.
|Josiah Williams competes for the Flames during a Midnight Mayhem matchup in 2015.|
As a libero at Liberty, Williams was known for keeping points alive by sacrificing his body to make diving digs. Rigg said that gave him a perspective on what it takes to formulate a winning game plan as a coach.
"It is amazing how many liberos become coaches," said Rigg. "The libero is kind of like a quarterback in that you have to survey everything that's happening on the court. You're the coach on the court and you have to break down and figure out all the parts of the game."
Williams has served as an assistant boys and girls volleyball coach at his Garden Spot (Pa.) High School, and got some volunteer hands-on training when Liberty traveled to Lancaster (Pa.) Bible College on Nov. 17, guiding the Flames' DII team to a 3-1 record in pool play before falling to the DI squad, 25-23.
"He just wanted to come and help out and he coached the whole day," Rigg said. "He loves the team and being here."
After traveling to Tanzania with his home church while a student-athlete at Liberty, Williams spent two weeks over the summer in Moldova, located between Romania and Ukraine, offering free medical clinics in underprivileged areas in the mountains near the town of Falesti. He also distributed humanitarian aid at a refugee camp on the Grecian island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey, home to people of 35 nationalities. Last fall, he provided free primary medical care in Palin, Guatemala, about 10 miles from the Fuego volcano that erupted in June.
He is eager to return to campus and continue to be mentored as a coach by Rigg while mentoring the current Flames players.
"My four years at Liberty were the best four years of my life and I do attribute my growth — not just as a volleyball player, but as a student, and a person, and a follower of Christ — to Coach Rigg," Williams said. "I really do hope to pour back into the guys at Liberty, to befriend them and support them."
He will focus on fine-tuning the Flames' skills and developing the psychological side of their games.
"It's a very mental sport," Williams said. "The players are extremely talented and full of energy. It's going to be cool to harness that energy and develop them as players because they have huge potential."
Liberty's DII squad will make its debut with Williams as coach in next Saturday's ECVA South Play Date at the LaHaye Multipurpose Center.