Pat Williams has more than 45 years of professional sports experience to his credit. The 67-year-old protégé of the late Bill Veeck is probably most known for his promotional and marketing wizardry.
Williams was promoted to his current post from the general manager position in April of 1996. As the senior vice president, Williams serves in strategic planning activities relating to RDV Sports, named for Rich DeVos and the parent company of the Magic. He also spearheads research of future RDV Sports properties. Additionally, he serves as the promotional leader and strategic marketer for memberships at the $50 million state-of-the-art RDV Sportsplex. He is involved in training and mentoring of RDV Sports employees, while making public appearances on behalf of RDV Sports and the Orlando Magic.
Williams is also considered one of the country’s top motivational and inspirational public speakers. His wife, Ruth, teaches time management seminars for the FranklinCovey Company.
Prior to joining the Central Florida pro basketball effort in June of 1986, Williams spent 12 seasons as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. During that time, he took a Sixers team that posted a 34-48 record in 1974-75 to a World Championship in 1983. Through several personnel moves during that time, Williams played a major factor in bringing the NBA title to Philadelphia.
Williams joined the Sixers in 1968 as the club's business manager. The next season, at the tender age of 29 he became the general manager of the Chicago Bulls, and remained in that post until 1973. While in Chicago, he raised average game attendance figures at Chicago Stadium from 3,700 to more than 10,000 per game.
Though Williams has spent well over four decades in the NBA, his first love is baseball, the sport that earned him a scholarship to Wake Forest University. While at Wake Forest, Williams earned a bachelor's degree in physical education. He was a three-year letterman as a catcher on the Demon Deacons baseball team and is a member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame. He later went on to earn a master’s of science degree in physical education from Indiana University in 1964.
Williams’ baseball career began when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1962 and spent two seasons catching for the Miami Marlins, a Class A club in the Florida State League. He quickly moved from the playing field to the front office, when he was appointed business manager of Miami in 1964. He took the general manager job with the Spartanburg (S.C.) Phillies in 1965 and was later elevated to the position of president of the organization in 1967.
In 1967, he was chosen the Minor League Executive of the Year by The Sporting News. Williams remains active in baseball as a catcher in Dream Week games in Florida during the winter. He was also the president of Orlando's Double-A Southern League team from 1990 - 1993. Pat’s son, Bobby, is the Farm Director for the Washington Nationals. Another son, Thomas, is the senior accountant for the Boston Red Sox.
Pat and Ruth are the parents of 19 children, 14 of whom are adopted from four foreign countries. The Williams family roster reads as follows: Stephanie (35), Jim (33), Bobby (30), David (30), Peter (29), Brian (28), Karyn (28), Thomas (26), Stephen (26), Sarah (26), Daniella (25), Andrea (25), Richie (25), Sammy (24), Caroline (23), Michael (23), Gabriella (22), Katarina (22) and Alan (21). Four of the children are from Korea, four from the Philippines, two from Romania, and four from Brazil. Pat and Ruth also have five grandchildren.
Pat has written 47 books, including his version of the birth of the Orlando Magic, entitled Making Magic. His two most recent books are The Ultimate Coaches Clinic and How to Be Like Women Athletes of Influence. An avid runner, Williams completed the 100th Boston Marathon in April of 1996 and completed the race the following 10 years. He has completed 43 marathons in the last 12 years.