Milwaukee -- Brent "Buzz" Williams, a highly respected recruiter and veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks, has been named the 16th head coach of the Marquette University men's basketball program, MU President Robert A. Wild, S.J. and Director of Athletics Steve Cottingham confirmed Monday night.
Williams was introduced to the community Tuesday at a press conference at the Al McGuire Center.
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.
His coaching career has included stints as an assistant, associate head and head coach. He has nearly 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I level. Williams has recruited and coached over 20 players who have earned all-conference accolades, including one league player of the year and two conference freshmen of the year.
"When I met with Buzz, I was convinced that he brings us a passion for college basketball and our BIG EAST conference, and a commitment to both Marquette and the high-level of play our fans have come to expect from Marquette basketball," Father Wild said.
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 (14-17) claimed fourth place in the Sun Belt's Western Division and advanced to the league tournament quarterfinals. His recruiting class for the 2007-08 season was ranked in the top 50 nationally by HoopScoop Online.
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.
"Early on in this process it became clear that Buzz provided the right fit the University was looking for as the men's basketball program at Marquette begins another era in its storied history," Director of Athletics Steve Cottingham said. "Buzz is a tireless worker, a nationally recognized recruiter and has developed a quality relationship with the players and staff during his tenure at Marquette. All of these qualities, as well as many others, make me confident he will be able to continue the program's continued rise at the national level."
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 Mountain West 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.
Williams was previously an assistant at Northwestern State (1999-2000), Texas A&M- Kingsville (1998-99) and Texas-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.
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.
What They're Saying About Buzz Williams
"He is a tenacious guy. He obviously enjoys it. He is very well organized and his tenacity is probably unmatched. He just goes after it. Everyone likes him and if they don't start out liking him, he forces them to like him, and that's a great quality to be able to have. He just goes after it hard. He's not only a good recruiter, he is a very good basketball coach. He does whatever it takes to help your team win, whether it's academics or whether it's taking care of stuff in the office or whatever. He is not just a recruiter he is a total basketball coach and a guy that gives you the best chance to win over a long haul."
University of Kentucky
"Buzz Williams has the ability, the energy, the passion, and most importantly the desire to build on the great tradition at Marquette. To have him be a part of what I felt was as good a staff as there was in the country this past year at Marquette, and to get to know him even better and to see the work ethic, energy, and competence that he has to be successful and to make those around him successful, will be second to none. Marquette made a great choice because they get a man that understands what it takes to win at the highest level and the players and the young men in the program have someone that has an understanding of them and will allow them to continue to take the program to great heights."
"Marquette has made an outstanding hire as they announce Buzz Williams as their men's basketball coach. Having been fortunate to work with coach Williams in the past, I know that he is an excellent basketball coach that values both academics and the personal development of his student-athletes. The Marquette community has selected a tireless worker and tremendous family man to lead their basketball program." Jeff Hathaway
Director of Athletics
University of Connecticut
"I was fortunate to work with Buzz at Colorado State and I could tell back then that he had an incredible gift, certainly from a recruiting standpoint. He was also a motivated and driven individual and you couldn't help but see big things in his future. I am delighted for him to get this opportunity and I think he will do a great job. Buzz is a quality person who runs things first class. Marquette is very fortunate to have his services."
Big 12 Conference
"Buzz Williams brings the qualities and skills, combined with a tenacity and tremendous work ethic, that will not only provide a smooth transition but continue to make Marquette Basketball better and stronger moving forward."
Former Marquette Director of Athletics
"Buzz Williams is one of the up-and-coming head coaches in the country. He is a tireless recruiter and possesses many of the same attributes which have made Tom Crean a success. Not only can he recruit, but he's also proven he can coach and handle adversity with the season he spent at New Orleans."