Judy Willson joined the LSU Athletics Communications Department in September 2017 and is the primary contact for the LSU Women’s Basketball and Women’s Golf teams. She also oversees the department’s student staff and serves as a liaison for the LSU Athletics-Manship School partnership. In 2020, she received the Arch Ward Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), presented to a member for outstanding contributions to the field of athletic communications and bringing dignity and prestige to the profession. Willson served as CoSIDA’s president in 2015-16.
Willson spent seven years as a member of the Mountain West Conference communications staff prior to moving to Baton Rouge. In her role at the MW, Willson served as the primary media contact for women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball and women’s swimming & diving, in addition to assisting with the overall communications operation. She also served as the staff liaison to the MW Joint Council, coordinating the group’s annual Spring Meetings. In 2012, Willson served as the local host media coordinator for the NCAA Women’s Final Four held at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo. She continues to work with the NCAA Women’s Basketball staff as a member of the NCAA Women’s Final Four Media Coordination Committee, a role she has served in since 2011.
Willson joined the MW staff in September 2010 after spending the previous three years as the assistant director of athletic media relations for the University of New Mexico. At UNM she was the primary contact for volleyball, baseball and skiing, and assisted with men’s and women’s basketball. She also supervised the student interns that covered women’s swimming & diving and tennis and served as the host media coordinator for the 2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball First and Second Rounds held in Albuquerque.
Prior to joining the UNM athletics staff, Willson spent two and a half years as the director of athletic media relations at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and four and a half years as the assistant commissioner for media relations at the Sun Belt Conference. Willson also served as the local host media coordinator for the 2003 NCAA Final Four and 2002 NCAA Volleyball National Championships in New Orleans. She assisted with several national events during her time in New Orleans, including serving on the media coordination team for the 2004 Women’s Final Four, the Sugar Bowl, the New Orleans Bowl and the Super Bowl. Before moving to Louisiana in July 2000, Willson was a member of the athletics media relations staff at the University of Denver for two years. Willson spent 10 years working in the Division II ranks, starting communications offices at the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and Eastern New Mexico University.
Willson continues to be an active member of CoSIDA following her five-year president rotation, currently serving on the Academic All-America and Nominating Committees. She also served a six-year term on the CoSIDA Board of Directors as an At-Large representative from 2001-07 and has been on numerous committees and task forces since joining the organization in 1991. Willson was instrumental in CoSIDA’s growth as she co-chaired the Executive Director search committee in 2007 and served on the Executive Director selection committee in 2013. Willson was named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Board of Directors in 2008 and served as the organization’s President in 2013-14. Over her career she has been a member of Women Sports Information Directors of America (WoSIDA; formerly Female Athletics Media Relations Executives (FAME)), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators; NACWAA).
The Cambridge, Mass., native graduated from Geneva College in 1988 with an undergraduate degree in psychology with minors in business administration and public relations. She earned a Master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis in sports administration from Eastern New Mexico University in 1997.