Kendrick Wayne Williamson
Kendrick Wayne Williamson, 62, was an athletic director and football coach on the interscholastic and collegiate levels before taking charge of athletics in Hillsborough County’s public schools in 1970.
Born on Jan. 27, 1938 in Luverne, Ala., Williamson made the move to Florida, where he graduated from Tampa's Jefferson High School in 1956. He then headed to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida, where he played football for the Gators and his studies earned him a Master's Degree in physical education and health. During his tenure at UF, Williamson earned membership into the Florida Blue Key, the University of Florida Honor Court and the University of Florida Student Hall of Fame.
After short stints as an assistant teacher at UF and teacher and assistant football coach at Jefferson High School, Williamson spent two years with the United States Army before taking a position as teacher, coach and athletic director at Brandon High School. Three years later, he left Brandon for Parsons College in Fairfield, Ia., where he served as director of athletics from 1968-1970.
In 1970 Williamson left Iowa to return to the Tampa area, where he served as Director of Athletics for Hillsborough County Public Schools for 29 years from 1970 to 1999. His credits include the development of a system for centralized funding of athletics – one that has been mirrored in many respects around Florida.
Williamson has also been a leader in the area of gender equality and women's sports in Florida. In the 1970s, before it was mandatory, he developed the female sports program in Hillsborough County, and has since spoken at conferences and served as a consultant for counties in the development of their gender equity programs. Williamson, a strong believer in fairness and the opportunity for the less fortunate and economically deprived to be on an equal footing with the rest, has also been a strong force in the evolution of school integration in Hillsborough County.
Williamson retired as director of athletics for Hillsborough County Public Schools last December. He was inducted into the Jefferson High School Hall of Fame in 2002.