Prep stars from three states choose Vanderbilt
Latest news, notes on Vanderbilt athletics
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View Patrick Clark's photos of the Commodores' match with Nebraska.
View Patrick Clark's photos of the Commodores' against Sam Houston State.
Photos by Jonathan Mailhes
John Williamson has taken the Commodores to the NCAA Championship in 2007 and has been voted the national "Coach of the Year" but he is equally proud of his team's academic leadership position on the highly competitive Vanderbilt campus.
Since starting the Vanderbilt program in 2004-05, his Commodores have had a nation-leading 13 first-team All-Americans and six NTCA Rookies of the Year. In total, 36 Vandy bowlers have earned All-America honors, second-most nationally. VU places multiple members annually on the NTCA's academic honor roll.
It has been invited to the White House by the President. Many of the nation's premier junior bowlers see it as their program of choice. He has become a championship coach by placing his highest priority on the overall development of his student-athletes and not merely their bowling averages. The team's academic success is impressive, even inside Vanderbilt's 17th rated university.
He was director of sport operations for the nationally ranked Vanderbilt baseball program when he was tapped to begin the school's bowling program in 2004. His first recruiting class finished fifth at the 2006 NCAA Championship and their national title in 2007 surprised outsiders by the speed in which it arrived.
Prior to his service with VU's baseball team, he was in Vanderbilt's athletic development office. He is a native of Franklin, Tenn., and a graduate of the University of Mississippi. He was a member of the Ole Miss football team for two seasons after earning all-state football and all-district baseball honors at Nashville's Franklin Road Academy, where he is a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame.
He and his wife Melissa reside in Franklin with their four boys: Landon (12), Eli (8), Gabe (5) and Tucker Jay (1).
- In 14th year at Vanderbilt after starting program in 2004-05..
- Teams have made 12 straight NCAA Championship appearances
- Commodores have won 2015 and 2017 Southland Bowling League championships
- 2007 NCAA Coach of the Year
- One NCAA title (`07) and two runner-up finishes
- His Vanderbilt program has produced the second-most All-American honorees in nation and leads the nation in first-team All-Americans and Rookies of the Year.
- Has served NTCA coaches association in variety of roles including president