University of Pittsburgh

alumni hall

Pitt Chat

A conversation with M. Allison Williams (EDUC ’93, ’96G, ’04G), associate chair of the Department of Physical Education at Grove City College and head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field team there. She’s an energetic member of Pitt’s African American Alumni Council.

Written by Dan Majors

A native of Bay Shore, N.Y., she earned Pitt bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education, as well as a doctoral degree in exercise physiology. As a student-athlete at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1990s, she won six Big East titles in the hurdle events and was a three-time NCAA All-American. In 1994, she was named the NCAA Woman of the Year in Pennsylvania for her athletic and academic achievements. As head coach at Grove City College, she shares her knowledge, skills, and a commitment to excellence with a new generation of athletes.

I still have . . . a tie-dyed T-shirt I had as a freshman at Pitt. It’s blue and gold and has lots of holes, but I still wear it.

My first meal in Oakland was . . . fries at the “O.” I asked for a small order, and they came spilled out all over the place.

Pictures of me from those days . . . make me look really young. I look like I’m 12 years old.

My first residence-hall room . . . was in the Towers, and I didn’t have a computer or a TV. My roommate had a double-tape deck we would play.

Most people think my job . . . pays a lot more than it does. But there’s more to making a living than take-home pay.

The most important thing about being a good teacher . . . is preparation.

Today’s students . . . are less independent than past generations; they have traveled the world, but they can’t wash their clothes.

My favorite section of the grocery store is . . . with the fruits and  vegetables. I’m a vegetarian.

My favorite spot in Oakland is . . . the walkway between the Cathedral and Heinz Chapel. A brick with my name engraved for the 1993 Blue-Gold award is along the sidewalk.

I wish I’d kept . . . my old Pitt sweatshirts with the script Pitt logo. That was our athletic gear, and I had a closet full of them. But I pitched them, and now they’re all retro and cool. They’d be worth a mint.