NASHVILLE, Tenn. Pat Williams will be the featured speaker for the 8th-Annual Don Meyer Evening of Excellence. Hosted by Lipscomb University Athletics on April 16 at Nashville’s Allen Arena, the event will showcase the Orlando Magic senior vice president with more than 50 years of professional sports experience.
In addition to his five decades of experience in the sports world, Williams is the author of more than 70 books on leadership and motivation; he and his wife, Ruth, have 19 children, including 14 adopted from four different nations and he has completed 54 marathons including the Boston Marathon a dozen times.
“When I initially reached out to Mr. Williams, I left a voicemail saying, ‘If my old basketball coach, Don Meyer, was still alive today, I think he’d be happy I was calling you about this event,’” said Lipscomb’s Director of Athletics, Philip Hutcheson.
“Mr. Williams has been recognized for his life’s work by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and Coach was as well. Mr. Williams has written and spoken extensively on leadership, teamwork and personal improvement and Coach did too. Mr. Williams has fought cancer. Coach did too. Mr. Williams has a great admiration for Coach John Wooden and Coach did as well. And finally and most importantly, Mr. Williams has a strong faith that has guided him as he has helped himself and others achieve excellence in their lives. Coach Meyer was all about that until the day he passed and Lipscomb still seeks to do that daily with all of our students. All that in mind, I am confident that Pat Williams will be a great addition to this event’s history.”
A 2012 recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and one of the top motivational speakers in the country, Williams has served in his current position since 1996 when he was promoted from general manager. As senior vice president for RDV Sports, parent company of the Orlando Magic, Williams directs all strategic planning activities including serving as the strategic marketer for memberships and promotional leader for the $50 million state-of-the-art RDV Sportsplex.
While a NBA general manager for the Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Philadelphia 76ers and the Orlando Magic, Williams helped lead teams to 23 NBA Playoffs and five NBA Finals. In 1982-83, with Williams as the GM, the Julius Erving and Moses Malone-led 76ers won the NBA Championship and as the inaugural GM for the Magic, he helped Orlando reach the 1995 NBA Finals by drafting Shaquille O’Neal and trading a draft pick for Penny Hardaway.
Williams spent 10 years in professional baseball before his foray into the NBA. He spent two seasons as a minor league catcher in the Philadelphia Phillies organization before spending five years in the front office with the club. He then spent three more years in baseball working for the Minnesota Twins.
Former Lipscomb Hall of Fame coach Don Meyer, who passed away in May 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer, was awarded the “Jimmy V Award for Perseverance” from ESPN at the ESPY Awards in July 2009 following a life-changing car accident and cancer diagnosis. Meyer finished his career as the all-time winningest coach in collegiate basketball with a career record of 923-324 in 38 seasons. He coached at Hamline University for three years, Lipscomb for 24 years and Northern State for 11 years.
Previous Evening of Excellence speakers include Coach Meyer; Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow; Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski; Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens; Phil, Si and Kay Robertson from Duck Dynasty; “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, and Coach Jim White – subject of Disney film “McFarland USA.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When and where is the event?
The 8th-Annual Don Meyer Evening of Excellence featuring Pat Williams will be held in Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. The event will be on Saturday evening, April 16. The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and the program and keynote will follow.
Who May Attend?
The Don Meyer Evening of Excellence is an annual athletic fundraising event that celebrates the success of the year and benefits Lipscomb Athletics through the National Bison Club. Table hosts and sponsors anchor the dinner, but all members of the National Bison Club are encouraged to be at the event, along with any other people from the community who would like to attend.
What is the cost?
The dinner is complimentary. However, guests are encouraged to make a minimum donation of $50 or more to the National Bison Club the night of the event in order to help cover the costs of the Evening of Excellence.
Are reservations required?
Yes, a reservation is required to attend the event. Reservations are being accepted now and will be closed on Friday, April 8, at 5 p.m.
What is the suggested attire?
Business attire is suggested.
Whom should one contact about attending?
All planning to attend should contact associate A.D. for development Andy Lane to make reservations to the event. His contact information is as follows:
What is the National Bison Club (NBC)?
The National Bison Club is made up of all donors who give to Lipscomb University Athletics during a particular school year. The National Bison Club supports Lipscomb student-athletes, coaches and staff. Donations help with upgrades to athletic facilities, in purchasing additional training equipment, supplementing the operational budgets and allowing coaches and players to reach their highest potential.
Who are the Athletics Associates?
Previously known as The 300, Athletic Associates are those NBC members who make an annual gift of $1000 or more to Lipscomb Athletics. The Athletics Associates levels are as follows:
$25-$999 National Bison Club Member
$1000 - $2499 Athletics Associate Purple Level
$2500 - $4999 Athletics Associate Bronze Level
$5,000 - $9999 Athletics Associate Silver Level
$10,000 plus Athletics Associate Gold Level
What can I do if I am unable to attend but want to support Lipscomb University Athletics?
Those unable to attend the Don Meyer Evening of Excellence but interested in making a gift to the National Bison Club may donate online at https://secure.lipscomb.edu/gift/give/8
To give by check, please make payable to Lipscomb Athletics and mail to Lipscomb Athletics c/o Andy Lane, One University Park Drive, Nashville TN 37204.
How can I become a table host or an event sponsor?
All interested in serving as a table host (eight to a table), becoming an event sponsor, attending the event or seeking more information, please contact Andy Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org or (615) 966-5853.