Marcus Williams came to Montana Western to play football and major in business administration.  

Little did he know that transferring from the College of the Redwoods would launch him on the career of a lifetime.  

Originally from California, Williams came to UMW just as the university was transitioning from traditional scheduling to the block system known as Experience One (X1).

He credits X1 with making him a better student and allowing him the flexibility and time to not only play football, but serve as an residence assistant, work as a deejay on KDWG radio, manage concessions for athletic events and hold down a job in dining services.  

“X1 was a natural fit for me and enabled me to accomplish a lot more during my time in school,” Williams, a 2006 graduate, said. “Being able to focus on a single class at a time and learn through experience gave me the focus and determination to begin a successful career in athlete management.”  

During his time as a football player, Williams realized he had an interest in athletic scouting as a career. Former vice chancellor Tom Yahraes helped connect Williams with former UMW head football coach Bob Beers who had gone on to NFL scouting. With their recommendations, Williams applied and was accepted into an internship at Sports Management Worldwide (SMWW) in Portland, Ore. He was later hired as the assistant director of football operations for SMWW in 2006 where he worked for eight years. 

Williams is currently the president of his own firm, 1st Class Athletes, a national full-service athlete management and marketing company he started in Portland, Ore.

The firm serves an exclusive client base through a combination of representation and personalized marketing strategies tailored to the needs of each client. 

"Switching to Montana Western was the best move I've ever made," Williams said. "It connected me with faculty and administrators who really care about each student's success and future."