Sue Williams grew up in Arkansas and was an athlete at Arkansas Tech, competing in basketball, track and field and tennis. Her first college position was at the University of Arkansas. She came to UC Davis in Fall 1972 to coach women's volleyball and track & field. She started the cross-country program for women in Fall 1973 as a club team. Through her efforts the program grew in numbers and success from a club program to an AIAW national contender to a Division II conference and NCAA powerhouse program. In 1991 she became the head coach for both men's and women's cross country at UC Davis and coached both distance squads during the track & field season.
Sue was not only a great coach -- she also was a dedicated mentor for many student-athletes. Her cross-country teams consistently excelled in the classroom as well as the track. Her men's and women's teams annually had amongst the highest GPA of all intercollegiate teams, earning them the Marya Welch and Lysle Leach Award for the highest GPA more times than any other team.
Sue coached the men's cross country team for 17 years and their record includes many conference championships, sixteen straight appearances at the NCAA nationals, with one team finishing 4th nationally. During her tenure Sue's teams captured 20 women's cross country titles in 22 years and produced 21 national top 10 finishes. She coached 80 All Americans, was the national coach of the year in 1983 and was named the NCAA Coach of the Decade securing her status as a true legendary coach.