Jan Andre’ Williams’ road to playing for the Lipscomb Bisons was a winding one starting at the University of Memphis. He transferred to Lipscomb at the urging of Pete Froedden, his high school coach, and now an assistant with the Bisons. Hubie Smith, a former Lipscomb assistant, asked Williams to become a manager for the team. He was manager in 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. He had declined an offer to walk-on the year before, but he decided to play the 2006-2007 season.
“I had been practicing each day and doing everything they had been doing as players except dressing in a uniform for the games,” said Williams. “I decided to give it a shot and ended up playing my last year.”
LipscombSports.com caught up with Jan Andre during his busy work schedule at Youth Encouragement Services (Y.E.S).
Favorite Lipscomb athletics memories: “I wasn’t playing at the time, but going to Rupp Arena was a great time. We were beating those guys. And to hear 20,000-plus people so silent was memorable. We went to eat the team meal after the game was over and when people saw us in our Lipscomb gear the whole Kentucky blue nation came up to us and told us we had given them the game of a lifetime. They talked about how good our team was. It was compliment after compliment.”
Williams also was working as a manager when the Bisons went to Texas-El Paso for the school’s first National Invitation Tournament game.
“When we played at South Carolina I got to play a minute or two to give my brother, Trey, a break. Just watching Trey shooting the lights out at South Carolina’s gym is a great memory of mine. I am Trey’s No. 1 fan.”
Favorite non-athletic memory at Lipscomb: “I guess it is plugging in to where I am right now. I loved the relationship with my professors in the business department. The school’s has done so well with its service work and Y.E.S has been adopted as one of the top non-profit organizations for the school to support.
“When I transferred to Lipscomb I was looking for a job. I went to the Career Development Center and they asked me if I was good in working with kids. I said, `yeah, I’m great working with kids’. So they told me about Youth Encouragement Services. I went down there and got the job and the rest is history.”
Jan Andre worked with Y.E.S. for two years before spending his senior season on the basketball team. He was working for a cancer research center when he received a call offering him a full-time position with Y.E.S.
“That is something I always wanted to do,” said Jan Andre. “God has blessed me with this position.”
Favorite professors: Jan Andre had several favorite professors, but three of the standouts are Steve Little, Jeff Jewell and Charles Frazier.
“Steve Little taught business policy and he was hard. Everybody dreaded taking that class because there was so much work. He went out of the way to help you. He gave us a ton of work, but that class is invaluable to the business majors as they go into the real world.”
“Dr. Jewell was one of the nicest guys. He was always there for you if you needed help. He was also an Arkansas Razorbacks fan so we would talk about the teams there. Finance is not an easy thing so there were definitely some times when he helped us out a lot.”
“Mr. Frazier taught my intermediate accounting class and was our sponsor for Alpha Kappa Psi, the business fraternity. He was real funny guy. He had a great personality. He was also always there to help you anytime he could.”
Occupation: Jan Andre is living in Nashville and serving as the center director for Y.E.S. he is charge of the everyday programming for the academic, physical, social and spiritual aspects of the lives of the children who come to the center each day from 3 to 6 p.m.
He might also be found driving children home or any other task that needs to be completed. Everyone works at all aspects at the center since there are only five full-time staff positions. This week the big project is the Christmas store where parents needing assistance can come to the center and obtain gifts for their children.