Dave Williams, managing director of beach programs for USA Volleyball, passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 55 after a short battle with cancer.
Williams, a Hermosa Beach resident and native of Brilliant, Ohio, had family at his side when he succumbed in a Southern California hospital.
“USA Volleyball has lost a wonderful employee, a wonderful human being and a dear friend with Dave’s passing today,” stated USA Volleyball CEO Doug Beal on the association’s website. “I am having a terribly hard time digesting and accepting that Dave will not grace us with his wit, energy, passion and love of life anymore.
“Dave brought so much passion and creativity to our staff and to the sport,” Beal said. “He was just a joy to be around; and I am thankful to have had that opportunity more than many. In his too short time with USAV he became a committed voice for the sport and a great advocate for the Olympic movement and the national governing body’s function in that movement.”
Williams joined USA Volleyball in April 2010, taking over the helm of the newly-created position of managing director of beach programs.
Williams came well qualified to rebuild beach volleyball from the ashes of the Association of Volleyball Professionals. From 2001 until he resigned in 2010, he was AVP’s tour operations director. During that period, he coordinated over 150 professional volleyball tournaments, perhaps more than any other beach volleyball organizer in the country.
He also founded the Manhattan Beach Open Dinner of Champions.
“USA Volleyball’s job is to bring beach volleyball to every area of the country,” Williams said in a July 2011 interview with Beach magazine. “If it’s true, as the boating industry claims, that there is recreational water within 90 minutes of every place in the country, then there’s also a beach. A beach on a lake is still a beach.”
Previous to joining the AVP, Williams was executive director of the WPVA (Women’s Professional Volleyball Association.) He accepted the WPVA position, without a salary, as a favor to friends playing on the tour. He lived off the proceeds from his interest in Café au Lait, developers of Paradise Tropical Tea, which had recently sold to the Sara Lee Corporation.
Williams had also held executive managerial positions with Vie De France Bakery Corporation, Mauna Loa and Pepsi.
Williams’ marketing experience dated back to 1981, the year he graduated from Ohio State University and became a district manager for Pabst Brewing Company.
Memorial services are pending.