With three NCEA overall national championships at Auburn, head equestrian coach Greg Williams has become one of the most respected coaches' in the sport. He put the program on the map with its first title in 2006 and has taken home two championships in the past three years. Now in his 17th season at the helm, and 11th as a varsity sport, Williams has continued to add wealth and prestige to Auburn equestrian.
The Paragould, Ark., native led Auburn to its first overall Varsity Equestrian National Championship in 2006 and to its first discipline title, Hunt Seat, in 2008. He also helped the Tigers to their Southern Equestrian Championship in 2010 and recently, led his team to another overall National Championship in 2011.
Since the 1996 debut of the equestrian program, Williams has orchestrated the building of the Equine Center and helped to change the club program to Auburn's 21st varsity sport. He is currently working on a plan for a new center for the equestrian team. The facility will include new covered arenas, stables and barns and will be completed in a few short years.
During the 2003-04 season, Williams' Tigers upset the competition to become the 2004 Southern Equestrian Champions, the first championship in Auburn equestrian history.
That same year, Williams led the Tigers to an incredible
runner-up finish at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships, guiding Auburn to the IHSA National Finals in both Hunt Seat and Western in the program's inaugural 2002-03 varsity season.
In 2006, he led the Tigers to their first Varsity Equestrian National Championship, the third National Championship Auburn University received in one month. He coached Whitney Kimble and Ashley Griffith to the NRHA Collegiate Derby where they competed for an individual national title.
In 2008, Williams led the Tigers to a Hunt Seat title and a sixth place finish in Western at the Varsity Equestrian National Championship.
The 2008-09 season saw three Auburn riders, Paige Monfore, Maggie McAlary and Anna Schierholz, selected to compete individually at the Varsity Nationals. McAlary was also named 2009 USHJA Rider of the Year, while Lyndsey Jordan won the 2009 NRHA Collegiate Derby.
In 2009-10, Williams helped five Auburn riders to individual selections at Nationals. Once again, McAlary and Schierholz represented Auburn in the Over Fences Championship. Senior Katie Breedlove closed out her career at Auburn with a bang, riding for Auburn in the Equitation on Flat Championship, and freshman Indy Roper made her Nationals debut as a horsemanship selection. Senior Lyndsey Jordan was selected to ride in the Reining Championship, as well as representing Auburn in the 2010 NRHA Collegiate Derby.
During the 2010-11 season, Williams and his team beat Georgia for the SEC Championship and later went on to win their second Overall National Championship, their first since 2006. The Tigers took home three of four MVP awards in equitation over fences, Grace Socha, equitation on the flat, Maggie McAlary, horsemanship and reining, Paige Monfore.
Williams graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in Animal Sciences in 1986.
His career in the horse industry began at a young age as he showed horses, competed in rodeos and roping contests. His mother also competed and passed on her passion for horses.
Williams' beginning years as a professional were spent in the South and the Southwest training pleasure horses as well as cutting, haltering and roping horses. These horses were shown at
Futurities, Congress and World shows. He began his work at
Auburn 16 years ago running the Horse Teaching and Researching Unit. He also continued his professional showing career during his first years back.
Williams and his wife, Sandi, have two daughters, Toni, who was a member of the Auburn equestrian team and Erica. Toni is married to Auburn native Jim Patrick.