New Adapted Athletics program hires recent UA graduate


Abby McCreary, Sports Editor

Beginning this fall, Alabama Adapted Athletics will introduce para track and field as the fourth sport in its growing organization. 

Para track and field’s new head coaches will be Evan Williams, a recent UA graduate and former wheelchair basketball athlete, and Nadia Jones, who works at Physiolete, a local physical therapy company that partners with Adapted Athletics.  

“This is something that’s been in our plan for close to five years, wanting to start this kind of program,” Williams said. “He [Adapted Athletics director Brent Hardin] knew this was something I used to do, so he asked if it was something I’d be interested to help start. Right now, it’s getting the equipment, getting everything set up and then growing the program from there.” 

In a recent UA News release, Hardin said he is excited for Williams to take control of the program. 

“He [Williams] is professional and detail-oriented, but he also understands what it means to be a student-athlete and is very approachable,” Hardin said. “We feel fortunate that Evan is continuing his journey with us as a coach.” 

Williams competed on the wheelchair basketball team for four years before graduating this spring with majors in finance and economics. He also has seven years of experience in track.  

The wheelchair track team will mainly recruit for events in the 100-to-800-meter range. There are currently two track athletes committed to the program, including sophomore Megan Miller, who will be switching over from the women’s wheelchair basketball team.  

As for the throwing events, Jones is recruiting for javelin, shot put and discus and already has one committed athlete for the upcoming season.  

“With this first one [season], it will be more getting our name out there since we are a new program,” Williams said. “We want to just get our names seen, our faces seen, make people think of us when it comes to track as an option. Illinois and Arizona are the two big hitters for it right now, and if you do wheelchair track, that’s where you go, so we want to get ourselves into that light.” 

Adapted Athletics is gathering funds for a new facility to house the para track and field program, but until then, the team hopes to work with the Parker-Haun Tennis Facility and the Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium. 

Fundraising efforts and more information about Adapted Athletics and its sports can be found at its website.