CSU women's basketball vs. Fresno State - March 15, 2014 (Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos)
Ryun Williams, a 19-year coaching veteran, begins his second season as the head coach of the Colorado State women's basketball program.
With over 20 seasons in coaching, including 18 as a head coach, Williams has compiled an impressive 323-209 career record, with stops at South Dakota (2008-12), Wayne State College (1998-2008) and Sheridan College (1995-98), leading his squads to six campaigns of 20 or more victories, four postseason berths and one conference championship.
Before coming to Colorado State, Williams was South Dakota's head coach for four seasons. He led the Coyotes to a highly successful stretch during their transition to Division I competition, and helped them become one of the nation's premier defensive teams.
A staple of the Coyotes under Williams has been defense, and that was no exception in 2011-12. They ranked second nationally in blocks per game (7.3), eighth in field-goal defense (33.2) and 12th in scoring defense (52.3), leading the Summit League in all three categories. The Coyotes qualified for the WNIT for the first time ever last season as a Division I program, which was their second straight postseason berth after competing in the Women's Basketball Invitational in 2010-11. South Dakota finished with a No. 97 rank in the RPI, the second-highest of any Summit League team and the highest mark in school history.
Prior to arriving at USD in 2008, Williams spent 10 seasons at Wayne State, building that program into a perennial contender in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
Williams took over a program that had won just 13 games the previous two seasons and turned it into an NCAA tournament team. His team's recorded 20 wins or more in three of his final four seasons and made appearances in the NCAA Division II North Central Region tournament in two of the last three seasons. While at Wayne State, he compiled a 181-105 record (.632) and became the winningest women's basketball coach in school history.
In 2007-08, he guided the Wildcats to a 21-9 record, which included a trip to the NCAA Tournament. In the first round of the North Central Region he led his team to an 85-78 upset of North Dakota for the first win in the NCAA tournament in the school's history. In 2005-06, Williams took Wayne State to its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament, as the team notched its best season in school history by going 27-4. They were 13-1 in NSIC play and won the NSIC tournament to earn automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. That season Williams was named the NSIC Coach of the Year.
Williams' players have received plenty of postseason recognition. He has had players named WBCA All-America honorable mention, NSIC Player of the Year and NSIC Tournament MVP. Two players earned NSIC Defensive Player of the Year honors, two won the Dodie Martin and two were named the league's newcomers of the year.
Before taking over at Wayne State, Williams was the women's head coach at Sheridan College (Wyo.) for three seasons. While there he was named the Wyoming Conference Coach of the Year twice and was the Region IX Coach of the Year.
In 1993 he began his head coaching career at Sheridan when he served as the volleyball head coach and men's basketball assistant coach. In his time as the head coach of the volleyball program he put together a 117-66 record. In 1995 Sheridan went 42-8, won the Region IX title and finished fifth at the junior college national tournament. Williams garnered Wyoming Conference and Region IX Coach of the Year honors in 1994 and 1995.
Sheridan is also where Williams began his collegiate playing career. He played two seasons at Sheridan, where he was an All-Region IX player as a sophomore. In addition he was a two-time All-Wyoming Conference performer and a two-time academic all-conference selection. He then transferred to South Dakota where he earned All-NCC honors after leading the nation in free throw percentage at 91.2 percent. Williams was also named academic all-conference as a junior and senior. As a high school senior at Campbell County High School, he was named Mr. Basketball for the state of Wyoming in 1988.
A native of Gillette, Wyo., Williams earned his associate's degree from Sheridan in 1990, his bachelor's degree from South Dakota in 1992 and his master's degree from South Dakota in 1997.
Williams and his wife, Lyndy, have two daughters, Natalie and Emily. Ryun Williams at a glance
Age: 43 Hometown: Gillette, Wyo. Family: Wife - Lyndy Daughters - Natalie and Emily Education: Sheridan College, 1988-90 South Dakota (BA), 1992 South Dakota (MA), 1997
NSIC Coach of the Year 2008
NSIC Coach of the Year 2006
Region IX Coach of the Year 1998
Wyoming Conference Coach of the Year 1998
Wyoming Conference Coach of the Year 1997
Wyoming Conference Coach of the Year 1995 (Volleyball)
Region IX Coach of the Year honors 1995 (Volleyball)
Wyoming Conference Coach of the Year 1994 (Volleyball)
Region IX Coach of the Year honors 1994 (Volleyball)
1993-95 Sheridan College (Volleyball Head Coach)
1993-95 Sheridan College (Men's Basketball Assistant Coach)
1995-98 Sheridan College (Women's Basketball Head Coach)
1998-2008 Wayne State College (Head Coach)
2008-12 South Dakota (Head Coach)
2012-Pres. Colorado State (Head Coach)
Led South Dakota to second straight postseason appearance in 2011-12, when Coyotes beat Drake in first round of WNIT. The team's 23-8 mark was best since moving to Division I.
Led South Dakota to first-ever postseason appearance as a Division I program in 2010-11 when Coyotes earned berth in Women's Basketball Invitational; also led Coyotes to first Division I postseason win with 62-47 victory over Idaho.
NCAA Division II Tournament Appearances in 2005-06 and 2007-08
North Sub-Region Championship and Region IX Championship appearance
Coached one WBCA All-America honorable mention; one NSIC Player of the Year; one NSIC Tournament MVP; two NSIC Defensive Players of the Year; and two Newcomer of the Year award recipients.