- Associated Press - Monday, February 18, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Vanderbilt is renaming its student recreation and wellness center in honor of former athletic director David Williams II.

Williams, the first black athletic director in Southeastern Conference history, died Feb. 8 at the age of 71. His death came a week after he formally stepped down as Vanderbilt’s athletic director.

More than 2,000 people attended a celebration of life service Friday to pay tribute to Williams.

Williams had been in charge of Vanderbilt athletics since 2003 as vice chancellor of student affairs. He added the official title of athletic director in 2012.

Vanderbilt won four national championships - two in women’s bowling (2007, 2018) and one each in baseball (2014) and women’s tennis (2015) - and enjoyed its most football success in nearly a century under Williams‘ leadership.

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