A conversation with the first female Bryan ISD athletic director

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Janice Williamson is the first female athletic director in Bryan ISD history.

The job, officially titled 'Bryan ISD Executive Director of Athletics, Student Health and Fitness,' is one she's earned and then some.

"I was born right here in Bryan. I am very blessed," said Williamson on First News at Four. She went on to play softball for Texas A&M University and then kick off her career in Bryan ISD in 1981.

By 1988, Williamson had started the Bryan High School softball program. By 2002, she had led them to a state championship.

Now, Williamson, who says she'll always be "Coach" to her students, oversees all the athletic programs in the district. She takes the role seriously, specifically with regards to injuries.

"We have a protocol in place for any student athlete who suffers any kind of head injury, for every sport," Williamson said. "They don't make the decision to return to play on their own."

Williamson is referencing a 2017 study by a Dallas doctor that suggested female student athletes would often "play through the pain" after a head injury, exacerbating the possible concussion and lead to more serious problems down the line.

Williamson won't let that happen to her student athletes of either gender.

"We know those girls can be tough," said Williamson, who's been one of those tough girls herself. "I think our athletes are safer than they've ever been, with the equipment and the protocol and the training."

For the full conversation, see the video player above.