KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dr. Arthur Wallace "Toby" Williams is among thirteen outstanding individuals who will be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame this year in recognition of their significant contributions to the association. This honor is the highest individual honor bestowed by the NAIA.
Williams, an NAIA Hall of Fame inductee in the meritorious service category, was a member of the intercollegiate athletics board at Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.) and also served as golf coach, NAIA faculty athletics representative, and member of the scholarship fund. In 1990 Williams became the eligibility chairman of the Tennessee Collegiate Athletic Conference (TCAC) and transitioned to the new TranSouth Athletic Conference as the eligibility chair in 1995. He devoted countless hours to reviewing the eligibility of thousands of student athletes and advised conference schools about NAIA rules and regulations.
Trevecca Nazarene University president Dan Boone expressed the value Williams has added to several organizations over the years when he said, "Toby Williams is the walking embodiment of Trevecca and its mission, ‘to be rather than to seem.' His service to the NAIA schools and athletes has been remarkable."
Williams, who was inducted into the Trevecca Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994, responded, "What an unexpected, unbelievable, wonderful surprise! I am deeply humbled and joyously pleased and thankful to be inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. Thank you to all of those people who have brought this event to fruition."
Current TranSouth Athletic Conference commissioner Charlie Smith commented on Williams's selection, "As a former coach and athletic director alongside Toby, I can attest to the diligence with which he did his job. He knew the rules and managed all the details of the eligibility process very ably. Through all these years, Toby has exhibited the highest moral character and a sincere concern for the student-athlete."
Alan Smith worked alongside Toby Williams for years as the former Trevecca tennis coach and then athletic director. Smith is the only other person connected to Trevecca in the NAIA Hall of Fame. Smith said of Williams, "How grateful I am for the many years of volunteering that Toby Williams gave to Trevecca and the conferences of which we were members. This kind of service is one of the things it takes to make a great university program and conference. Toby's dedication of his time and talent is monumental. He performed with excellence and his job as eligibility chairman was so important. His leadership and his integrity kept programs honest."
Nancy Bennett, the assistant commissioner of the TranSouth, said, "Toby is a man of integrity. In my time with the TranSouth, he has been the eligibility chairman for the conference. He has always been diligent in performing his duties and has tried to be as accurate and as fair as possible. He has worked well with the schools and athletes."
Trevecca and TranSouth sports information director Greg Ruff has felt Williams impact in various ways; "I first met Dr. Williams as a student, and he taught me out to learn at the collegiate level. Later he showed me how to be a Christian man and father. His care for others and work ethic are unmatched. The NAIA is well served by including Dr. Williams in the NAIA Hall of Fame."
The NAIA Hall of Fame has a category for meritorious service to the NAIA and also categories for athletes and coaches. The NAIA Hall of Fame Award winners will be honored at their respective NAIA championships throughout the year, with the meritorious category winners honored at the NAIA 2013 Convention in Kansas City, held in April of 2013.