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Buzz Williams


Marquette Assistant Coach 2007 - 2008
Marquette Head Coach 2008 - 2014

Marquette University

25 victories. 12 BIG EAST Conference wins. 2 all-league players. 1 NCAA Championship appearance and victory. 1 nationally ranked recruiting class.

Each of the impressive accomplishments listed above, as well as numerous others, were recorded during head coach Buzz Williams' first season leading the Marquette University men's basketball program.

The Golden Eagles' performance in 2008-09 mirrored that of a program firmly established in the tenure of a successful head coach, not that of a team under the direction of a first-year mentor.

Williams directed MU to a 25-10 overall record last season, which included a school-record 12 BIG EAST victories. The Golden Eagles advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship and were ranked among the nation's top-25 teams the entire campaign. A pair of players, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews, claimed all-league accolades and McNeal also claimed All-America honors.

Off the court, Williams and his staff assembled a consensus top-25 recruiting class, a group rated as high as No. 1 in the country by The program's community service efforts have also reached new heights under Williams, highlighted by “Buzz's Bunch.” This group, founded by Williams, focuses on providing opportunities for special needs children to attend games and summer camps. The Golden Eagles have also continued and strengthened their long-standing relationships with Children's Hospital as well as Special Olympics.

In 2007-08, Williams served as an assistant coach with the Golden Eagles in his first season at Marquette. MU concluded the year 25-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003.

Legal and NCAA Issues During his Tenure

During his tenure at Marquette, there were a number of issues that made some members of the Marquette community uncomfortable. Those included a one game violation and the dismissing of Scott Monarch due to Monarch lying to investigators about giving a prospect impermissible benefits. Also there was a story in the Chicago Tribune that implicated Marquette and its athletic department in a cover up of sexual assault on campus.

Departure for Virginia Tech

In March 2015, Buzz Williams decided to run away from his poorly constructed team and the legal and NCAA issues above, and took the head coaching job at Virginia Tech; a school with no basketball tradition whatsoever. Buzz never acknowledged that he was showing a lack of the kind of toughness that he preached during his coaching tenure at Marquette, leading many to believe that he was simply a fraud and an opportunist.

University of New Orleans

Williams arrived in Milwaukee after serving for one season as the head coach at the University of New Orleans. He guided the Privateers to a 14-win campaign in 2006-07 and his roster featured Bo McCalebb, the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year. UNO claimed fourth place in the Sun Belt's Western Division and advanced to the league tournament quarterfinals. The squad claimed as many victories on the road that season as it had in the previous three seasons combined. His recruiting class for the 2007-08 season was ranked in the top 50 nationally by

Texas A&M

Prior to UNO, Williams served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M for two seasons (2004-05/2005-06) under head coach Billy Gillispie. Both of his recruiting classes with the Aggies were ranked among the best in the nation and featured some of the top-ranked talent at the prep level. The squad made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 25 years in 2005-06 and the previous team posted the top turnaround in the nation, improving its win total in 2004-05 by 14 games compared to 2003-04.

Colorado State

Williams spent four seasons (2000-01 - 2003-04) at Colorado State, serving as an assistant the first three seasons before being promoted to associate head coach in 2003-04. Two of his recruiting classes were ranked among the 40-best in the nation, including the 2003 group, which was tabbed No. 1 in the Western Athletic Conference.

Colorado State made its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years during his tenure and he was named one of the top assistants in the country by HoopScoop Online.

Other Coaching Positions

Williams was previously an assistant at Northwestern State (1999-2000), Texas A&M- Kingsville (1998-99) and UT-Arlington (1994-98).

Williams signed the highest-rated recruiting class in the history of the Southland Conference while at Northwestern State. The Demons advanced to their first ever NCAA tournament the following season and two of his recruited players were named All-Conference, while one was tabbed Southland Conference Tournament MVP.

His accomplishments at Texas A&M-Kingsville include signing the 1998-99 Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year and a third team All-America guard from Panola Junior College.

At Texas-Arlington, Williams recruited a Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and signed the first Academic All-American in the school's history.

Williams was a student assistant coach from 1992-94 at Oklahoma City University where he assisted the team to the 1994 NAIA championship after it advanced to the Sweet 16 the previous season.

Williams served as a student assistant from 1990-92 at Navarro College (Corsicana, Texas) where the team won consecutive conference titles while sporting a 45-17 record during his tenure.


The Van Alstyne, Texas, native earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Oklahoma City University in 1994 before completing his master's work in the same field at Texas A&M-Kingsville in 1999. Williams is married to the former Corey Norman and the couple has one daughter, Zera, and two sons, Calvin and Mason.


Year Position Overall Record Conference Record Accomplishments
2009-10 Marquette, Head Coach 22-12 11-7 NCAA
2008-09 Marquette, Head Coach NCAA
2007-08 Marquette, Assistant Coach 25-10 11-7 NCAA
2006-07 New Orleans, Head Coach 14-17 9-9
2005-06 Texas A&M, Assistant Coach 21-8 10-6 NCAA
2004-05 Texas A&M, Assistant Coach 19-9 8-8
2003-04 Colorado State, Associate Head Coach 13-16 4-10
2002-03 Colorado State, Assistant Coach 19-13 5-9
2001-02 Colorado State, Assistant Coach 12-18 3-11
2000-01 Colorado State, Assistant Coach 15-13 6-8
99-2000 Northwestern State, Assistant Coach 15-13 10-7
1998-99 Texas A&M-Kingsville, Assistant Coach - -
1997-98 UT-Arlington, Assistant Coach - -
1996-97 UT-Arlington, Assistant Coach - -
1995-96 UT-Arlington, Assistant Coach - -
1994-95 UT-Arlington, Assistant Coach - -
1993-94 Oklahoma City U, Student Assistant - -
1992-93 Oklahoma City U, Student Assistant - -
1991-92 Navarro College, Student Assistant - -
1990-91 Navarro College, Student Assistant - -

Coach Williams' Marquette Post-Season Records

Year Record Conference Tournament Result NCAA Result
2008-09 2-2BET: Beat SJU, Lost Nova. NCAA #6 Seed: beat #11 Utah State, Lost to #3 Missouri
2009-10 2-2BET:#5 Seed: Beat SJU, Nova, Lost to GTown NCAA #6 Seed: Lost to #11 Washington
2010-11 4-2BET:#11 Seed: Beat Prov, WVU, lost to Louisville. NCAA #11 Seed: Beat #6 Xavier, #3 Syracuse, Lost to #14 Louisville in Sweet 16
2011-12 2-2BET #2 - Lost to Louisville NCAA #3 seed: Beat #14 BYU, #6 Murray State, Lost to #7 Florida in Sweet 16
2012-13 3-2BET #3 - Lost to Notre Dame NCAA #3 seed: Beat #14 Davidson, #6 Butler, #2 Miami, Lost to #4 Syracuse in ELITE 8
Season Totals:513-10 BET Totals 5-5 — 2 One and Dones NCAA: 8-5 - 2 Sweet 16s, 1 Elite 8


“I've admired Buzz Williams' work from a far for some time and have grown to appreciate it even more as I've gotten to know him over the last year,” Crean said. “Adding a person of his character, integrity and talent to our staff means a great deal to me. “I know our players, fans and future recruits will all feel the same way,” Crean added. “Adding Buzz to Bennie Seltzer, Tim Buckley and Brian Barone, gives us a staff I'm really excited to compete with in the Big East and nationally.”
Tom Crean
University of Indiana Men's Basketball Coach

“I am very grateful for the opportunity I was presented at the University of New Orleans,” Williams said. “I am ecstatic about the chance to join coach Crean's staff and I am extremely excited about the future of Marquette basketball.”
Buzz Williams
Marquette University Men's Basketball Coach

Quotes from Buzz

Buzz has a way with words. Well, at least he has a way of using words arranged differently than most people. Here's some amusing quotes…

“It’s hard to be around me and not have a chip on your shoulder, and if for some reason I perceive you don’t have a chip on your shoulder, I’ll help you create one.”
“We need to grow our hair out to protect our brains so we don't forget how to play like us.”
“You never know what God has in his plans. But, whatever it is, lets make sure we get the lesson so we dont have to take the test again.”
“Half of our team is old and half of our team is new. But half of the old guys are really still new.”
“I want beavers. I want beavers around me. I want to hire beavers, I want to recruit beavers. Beavers do only one thing – they chop trees. That’s all beavers do. Those are the kind of people I want to be around other than my wife, and that’s it. I want people who all they do is ball, all they think about is ball. My life in so many ways is really boring because it’s like groundhog day every day, you know what I mean?”
“His body is better than it looks.” - describing Davante Gardner
“I Googled 'magic pills' after we got beat by DePaul. Nothing came up. I told our team, 'I tried to help you, but all I know to do is just keep working. That's it.'” - January 26, 2010 following defeat of Rutgers 82-59
“The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, show up and go to work and do it every day no matter what's surrounding you” - March 17, 2012 following defeat of Murray State to advance to the Sweet 16
“Faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love, and a lot of these kids have never been loved. And when you've never been loved and you're 20 years old and somebody tries to love you for the first time, you don't know how to handle it. And when you start talking about God for the first time and when you think about what those kids have been through in the previous 20 years, they're not sure there is a God. So when you start talking about love and you start talking about God and you're with kids every single day and you do it for about 150 days and they get up here and speak, which is a lot harder than you think, to people that they don't know and they use the same words that you use, it means you're helping their life. That's what it means.” - March 17, 2012 following defeat of Murray State to advance to the Sweet 16
“I like guys that have had to ride in 15-passenger vans. I like guys that, when they order, they use a number. ‘I’d like the combo meal No. 2.’ I like those kinds of guys. I’m never opposed to signing a guy who ate at McDonald’s pre- and post-game, and is thankful to get one cotton t-shirt, not a Dri-FIT.”
“Just gotta hang in there for one more day…and then do it again the next day.”
“I think that there’s too much sugar in the world and not enough salt. Kids want to be challenged. Humans want to aspire to something. You don’t win in life and you don’t win in athletics with softness or selfishness.”
“Success will kiss you in private, but failure will slap you in public.”
“Success is not owned. It's rented. You gotta pay rent everyday, and if you don't pay rent, they kick you out.”


Colorado State loses to Duke 67-57 Marquette head coach, Buzz Williams (fourth from the right), was an assistant on the Colorado State Rams basketball team when they lost to Duke, 67-57, in the first round of the NCAAs on March 20, 2003. CSU head coach, Dale Layer (far right, with his head down) was one of Coach Williams' assistants at Marquette in 2008-2009 before leaving for the Head Coach position at Liberty.

men_s_basketball/buzz_williams.txt · Last modified: 2020/12/07 16:49 (external edit)