Jessica Williams, a former All-American setter at the University of Dayton, is in her third season as the Badgers' director of operations. Williams oversees team travel, the sport budget, and coordinates community service.
"I couldn't be happier to be able to bring Jess here to Wisconsin with me," says Sheffield. "First of all, she and I work well together. She's someone who takes charge and gets things done, and she does it with a wonderful positive personality. I've been able to throw a lot of things at Jess and have confidence that it's going to be done and done well.
"Secondly, she has played in the Big Ten and she's played for me, so she has a great understanding of what this conference is like while also understanding what I'm like and what my expectations are. Because of that, she's going to be able to help convey that message to the players here and help them off the court."
Williams (then Yanz) spent two seasons in the same position at Dayton where she earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) honorable mention All-America honors in 2010. She was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Setter of the Year and the A-10 Championship's Most Outstanding Player. As a graduate student, Williams guided the Flyers to an undefeated conference regular season, an A-10 tournament title and a trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament. As the Flyers' setter, UD set a program record for team hitting percentage while leading the A-10 in hitting percentage, kills and assists. Williams earned her master's degree in education with a concentration in interdisciplinary studies from Dayton in 2012.
"I am so excited to be joining the Wisconsin volleyball program," says Williams. "When Coach Sheffield presented me this opportunity, I knew it was something I couldn't pass up. This program will become a national powerhouse under his direction and I'm thrilled to be alongside for the journey. I am looking forward to working with tremendous student-athletes and some of the best fans in college volleyball."
The Bolingbrook, Illinois, native transferred to Dayton after graduating with a degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska in 2010, where she played one season. Williams began her college career at Penn State in 2006 and was a member of the 2007 NCAA Championship team.
As a prep, Williams was named the 2006 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year at Naperville Central High School. She was also a Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 selection and was named the Best Setter at the 2004 and 2006 National Junior Classic, leading Sports Performance Volleyball Club to the 2006 national title.