Donovan Williams Named Assistant at Princeton

Donovan Williams, who helped guide Lafayette College to the 2015 NCAA Tournament, has joined the Princeton men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach.

“I’m so pleased that Donovan is joining our team,” Mitch Henderson, the Franklin C. Cappon-Edward G. Green ’40 head coach of Princeton men’s basketball, said. “He is an experienced recruiter, he¹s very hard-working and he comes from a family of coaching and teaching. He is a terrific addition here and I’m glad to welcome him to Princeton.”

Over his five seasons as an assistant coach at Lafayette, Williams and the staff guided the Leopards to the Patriot League championship game three times and the league semifinals four times. This past season, Lafayette hosted the Patriot League final after upsetting top-seeded Bucknell in the semifinals, knocking off American 65-63 to make the program’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance.

At Lafayette, Williams was involved in player development, working with both perimeter and post players, while including on-court coaching, recruiting, opponent scouting and game preparation among his duties. During his five years in Easton, Lafayette earned four first-team All-Patriot League honorees, among them Jared Mintz (2011), Ryan Willen (2012), Tony Johnson (2013) and Dan Trist (2015), along with 2015 Patriot League Tournament MVP Nick Lindner. Eight players over his five seasons were named first-, second- or third-team All-Patriot League.

“I’m excited to be part of a program with such a rich basketball tradition here at Princeton University,” Williams said. “Coach Henderson and his staff have been tremendous in welcoming me to the Princeton family. His enthusiasm and vision truly excites me and I look forward to joining the culture that he has established.”

This past season, Lafayette led the Patriot League in points per game (73.5), free throw percentage (.767), field goal percentage (.485), 3-point field goal percentage (.408), assists per game (15.6), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4), and 3-pointers per game (7.9).

A 2008 graduate of Park University near Kansas City, Williams, a native of Columbus, Georgia, was a two-year starter for the NAIA program, helping the team to the Round of 16 as a junior during a 25-7 season. After completing his degree in business administration, he became a graduate assistant coach at Georgia Tech, where the team improved from a 12-19 record in his first season to a 23-13 record in his second season, earning an at-large NCAA Tournament bid and a first-round win over Oklahoma State with a team that included current NBA players Derrick Favors and Iman Shumpert.

After earning his master’s degree in sports administration from Georgia State in 2010, Williams moved on to Holy Family University in Philadelphia during the 2010 offseason before joining the staff at Lafayette for the 2010-11 campaign.

Williams comes from a coaching family, as his father George and his older brother Pershin are currently head coaches at Columbus High School and Hardaway High School in Columbus, Georgia.


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