Josh Williams Named Nissen-Emery Award Finalist
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The College Gymnastics Association has announced the finalists for the 2022 Nissen-Emery Award and Josh Williams (Cypress, Texas) from the Navy Gymnastics Program was one of eight talented seniors recognized by the organization in their announcement Thursday. Awarded the nation’s most outstanding senior collegiate gymnast since 1966, Williams, a leader in Navy rings, floor exercises and vault units, is only the fourth midshipman in the program’s history to graduate finalist status and the first since 2012.
The field of finalists for the 2022 Nissen-Emery Prize consists of Williams, Hamish Carter of Illinois, Mathew Davis of Army, Charlie Giles and Evan Kriley of Nebraska, Vitaliy Guimaraes of Oklahoma, Jesse Tyndall of Ohio State and 2020 Olympian Brody Malone, who competes collegiately at Stanford.
A four-year starter for the Mids, Williams was one of the top performers on the program on a variety of fixtures, as he earned conference and national accolades throughout his career. As a rookie in 2019, Williams won the Rings title at the CEAC Championship. The following year, during a COVID-shortened campaign, he was recognized as a CGA All-American as he was ranked sixth in the nation on the rings at the time the season was canceled. Williams’ most recent campaign has seen him qualify and make the NCAA Championship event finals on both floor exercise and rings. In six competitions as a senior in 2022, the Texas native posted the third-best scoring average on the rings at 13.950 and the 30th-best scoring average on the floor exercise at 13.267.
For his classroom efforts at the Naval Academy, Williams is a three-time CGA All-America Scholar Athlete.
Williams joins the unique group of Eric Swanson (1973), Peter Ditullio (1983), Andrew Faulk (2012) as runners-up, who have adapted to wannabes over their college careers.
The winner will be announced at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships in April in Norman, Okla.
Since 1966, college gymnastics’ highest honor, the Nissen Prize, has been awarded annually to the outstanding senior collegiate gymnast of that year. From 1966 to 1989, the process of nominating, selecting and presenting the awards was managed by the Nissen company. IBM sponsored the award in 1990. USA Gymnastics sponsored the award from 1991 to 1997. In 1998, Dr. Robert W. Emery, the 1969 winner, agreed to help the College Gymnastics Association fund the redesign of the award and establish an endowment that would cover the associated annual expenses indefinitely.
The “Heisman Trophy” of gymnastics, the Nissen-Emery Prize bears the following motto: “The true champion seeks excellence physically, mentally, socially and morally”.