Sept. 10, 2013
Tennessee track great and two-time Olympian Todd Williams was back in Knoxville last week.
While he had time to catch the Vols' winning efforts Saturday at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, the main purpose of Williams' return to Rocky Top was to teach a running safety workshop for many of the female student-athletes on campus.
Williams was a notable distance running star both at Tennessee -- where he helped lead the Vols to the 1991 NCAA outdoor championship -- and on the professional circuit. He ran the 10,000 meters for the United States in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games.
After finishing his running career, Williams changed athletic gears completely and earned his black belt in Brazilian jiujitsu. His deep involvement in both athletic disciplines sparked an interest in running safety and self defense techniques for joggers.
Last year, Williams started the RUNSAFER program to educate joggers on basic defensive maneuvers if confronted on the road, in addition to improving running skills and speed. He brought his workshop with him to Knoxville, where he hopes will be the first of several college stops.
Williams' running career at Tennessee was one for the record books. In fact, he's still well-represented in the record books. He holds three records: outdoor 3,000 and 10,000 and the indoor 5,000. He was the Vols' leading point scorer at the 1991 NCAA Outdoor Championships, helping the Vols to the title thanks to his silver medal in the 10,000 and a third-place finish in the 5,000.