So you think you’ve been pretty busy this year? Well, check out what Travis Williams has been up to.
For starters, Williams has served as an Auburn football graduate assistant, a job which entails a lot of long hours and little compensation. On Monday, Williams received a Master’s degree in adult education from Auburn.
Oh yea, the day before Williams’ released his debut album on iTunes titled Undefeated. It contains 17 songs including Tiger Walk, which is already a big hit among Auburn fans.
Williams spent many a late night at the Auburn athletic complex pouring over film, a 90-hour work week the norm in his profession, only to rush home and spend an hour or two in the wee hours of the morning working on his music.
“It’s just the drive to be special. I always wanted to do something different,” Williams said.
Williams has always been a driven individual. You have to be when you’re a 5-foot-11, 185 middle linebacker in high school with dreams of playing in the SEC. Williams realized that dream at Auburn, earning All-SEC honors as a player in 2004 and academic All-SEC honors in 2005.
“My motivation is always just to prove people wrong,” he said.
Back injuries caused a premature end to Williams’ playing career after just two years in the NFL. His desire to make a difference in young people’s lives has led him to coaching where he’s been a graduate assistant at Auburn the past two seasons.
“It’s the way to break in, kind of the right of passage to becoming a full-time coach,” Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “They work the 90 and 100-hour weeks just like the rest of us.
“It’s extremely long hours and at a lot of places it’s thankless work although here they’re very much appreciated. They do all the dirty work behind the scenes. It’s pennies by the hour.”
For Williams, that same rush he got as a player, he can still feel as a coach. “Whenever I tell them something and they do it in a game, that’s the best feeling in the world,” he said.
Music also provides Williams with that adrenaline rush and an ability to make a difference in the lives of young people. He certainly made a an impact on 13-year old Bayleigh Phillips, who has an inoperable brain tumor. Phillips and her family got a VIP visit to Auburn for the LSU game this fall where they met with Williams.
“I’m just Travis Williams, linebacker, T-WILL or whatever. But to her, I was like Lil Wayne or somebody,” Williams said. “Tiger Walk is just her song.
“I was like, ‘Wow, there’s something with this music. I’ve still got a way to touch people.’”
Phillips proudly wears Williams’ power bracelet now and they stay in touch.
With a Master’s degree in hand and his album on iTunes, Williams will again turn his focus to coaching as Auburn begins practice at the end of the week in preparation for the BCS National Championship game.
Williams was a part of an undefeated Auburn team in 2004 that didn’t get a chance to play for the title and he relishes the opportunity the Tigers will have Jan. 10 against Oregon.
“This team is close, just like we were,” he said. “It’s very hard to beat a team when they’re together and they’re confident.”
After the game, Williams will face an important decision. He could return to Auburn for a third year as a grad assistant, pursue a full-time coaching position or take some time off to work on his music career.
But one way or the other, Williams plans to keep music a big part of his life.
“It’s always something I’ll do if it’s full-time or on the side,” he said. “Most coaches go play golf, I’m going to do music.”
Williams’s album undefeated is available for download on iTunes for $9.99 at this LINK. It includes the songs Tiger Walk, Get Low and Amazing Champion.
To promote the album, Williams will give away three BCS National Championship game tickets plus autographed helmets and footballs, SEC Championship t-shirts and possibly tickets to select NFL games in a drawing on Christmas eve.
Just email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter the drawing.
“It’s about being undefeated in life,” Williams said of the album. “As long as you get up when you get knocked down, you’re always going to be undefeated.”