Cumberland University


Bradley Williams: Mastering Two Fields


Coming to Cumberland University has been a learning process for Bradley Williams. In four years at the University, the senior Sports Management student has excelled as a scholar and an athlete, learning a great deal about both academics and soccer.

The most important discovery Williams has made at Cumberland, however, has been a self-realization.

“Just being here at Cumberland by myself has been a fantastic experience,” Williams said. “Surviving on my own, being the first person in my family to go to college, and achieving good grades has pleased me. I saw that there is more to myself than I knew about to begin with.”

At Cumberland, Williams has learned to use that newfound self-knowledge to prepare for a lifetime of academic and career success. Originally from Swindon, England, Williams came to Cumberland in the fall of 2009, immediately finding a welcoming community where he “couldn’t wish to find nicer people.”

Williams has prospered in that environment as a student in the School of Education and Public Service’s Health & Human Performance program. Earning a place on the Dean’s List on multiple occasions and minoring in General Business, the soccer player has become a rising academic star. 

At Cumberland, Williams has learned to appreciate the crucial importance of the behind-the-scenes figures in management that drive the world of competitive sports.

“Sports Management at CU definitely opens your eyes to areas you don’t see on a day-to-day basis,” Williams said. “If you go to a game, you don’t see the people behind the teams that help everything run smoothly: the event coordinators, the marketers, and the stadium staff.”

Hoping to join the ranks of those professionals himself, Williams is now studying all aspects of sports management at Cumberland, from the fundamentals of sports administrative law to facility planning and sports entrepreneurship. Studying under professors such as Dr. James Holbrook and Dr. Jason Grindstaff, Williams feels well-equipped to shine in the field following graduation.

“The people in the department have the knowledge to give you a good chance to survive in the industry,” Williams said. “They have opened my eyes to opportunities and given me an insight into where in sports management that I want to go.”

It is a future Williams is well-suited for, having won numerous honors in sports himself as a soccer player at Cumberland. In 2009, the talented player won Second Team All-TranSouth honors and the TranSouth Freshman of the Year award, and in 2010, Williams won recognition as a TranSouth Scholar Athlete.

Williams has never found it difficult to balance academics and sports at Cumberland, however, having gotten support both from his professionals and his coaches.

“All of the coaches are understanding in terms of academics,” Williams said. “The emphasis is definitely on academic success.”

Hoping to parlay his experiences at Cumberland into a career as a future soccer agent or athletic director, Williams dreams of one day opening his own academy to create educational opportunities for players from underprivileged countries.

Having mastered both the soccer and academic fields as a future sports management professional at Cumberland University, Williams may be just the man to make that dream a reality.