OJay Williams
OJay Williams
Title: 2007 Inductee (Football 1953-1958/Track 1953-1958)

O. Jay Williams was born in Spearman, Texas in 1935 and spent his youth in Hondo, Texas.  Williams was a three-sport athlete at Hondo High School competing in football, baseball, and basketball.  His leadership skills led to him being named team captain of both the basketball and football teams during his senior year.  Williams was recognized for his achievements on the football field, being named to the All-District team during both his junior and senior year as well as being named to the 1952 All-State team.  Williams was not the only Hondo resident to migrate south to the University of Corpus Christi.  Life long friends and teammates Lloyd Lindeburg and Lloyd Muennink would attend UCC as well.

 O. Jay Williams arrived in Corpus Christi in August of 1953 receiving a full scholarship to play football.  As was often the case, Williams competed and excelled in more than one sport during his stint at UCC.  He lettered in both football and track all four years he played serving as captain of the football team his junior and senior year.  Williams graduated in June of 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering.  He married Charlotte Swatzell upon graduation and joined the U.S. Navy as an Ensign in the Naval Officers Corps.
Williams dedicated the next 20 years of his life to his country serving in the United States Navy.  His served as a Combat Information Officer responsible for monitoring, identifying, and reporting ship and air traffic entering the U.S. between Midway Island and the Aleutian Chain.  His academic background allowed him to convert from Naval Aviation to the Navy Civil Engineer Corps where he served in various military commands.  From 1968 through 1969, Williams served as the Executive Officer of a 1200-man Seabee Construction Battalion in the Republic of Vietnam in support of the Third Marine Corps Division in the Northern I Corps.  The battalion he led was responsible for construction of Naval Air Bases, major highways, hospitals, forward landing bases, and the construction of Marine Corps Bases, all under wartime conditions.
In the 1970’s he served in a number of different positions for the United States Navy.  From 1970-1973 he was the Seabee Program Officer for two Reserve Construction Battalions.  His next stop was in Key West, Fl., where he served as the Assistant Public Works Officer at the Naval Base and Naval Air Station.  He headed to the west coast from 1976-1978 were he was the Deputy Director and Construction Project Engineer for the Naval Petroleum Reserves in California (NPRC).

Williams retired from the Navy in December of 1978 with a number of honors including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal w/one Silver Star, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross), and Vietnam Campaign Medal.  In 1975, he was selected as a Deacon in the Baptist Church.

 Williams was very successful during his 20 years of military, but may have been even more successful in the private sector.  The Navy requested and Williams agreed to serve in a very similar capacity as Deputy Director of the Naval Petroleum Reserves (NPR-1) in California.  He oversaw an incredible 46,000-acre oil field, which was originally earmarked by Congress in 1912 as an emergency oil supply for the U.S. Military Forces in the event of war.  The field remained “shut in” for 64 years until Congress decided that it should be “opened up” to commercial production.  The field was rated as the largest oil and gas producing field in California and the second largest in the United States.  On July 3, 1976, the field was placed on production with initial production from the field in excess of 180,000 barrels of oil and 360 million cubic feet of gas per day.  Estimated reserves of the field at open-up were 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 3 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. At open-up, revenues to the government from the sale of oil and gas, averaged 4.5 million dollars a day at a time when oil was selling for $15 a barrel. During the 21 years he was associated with NPR-1, revenues averaged an astounding 2.1 million dollars a day.  Williams was rated a GS-15, which was the highest rating a Federal employee could hold at the time.   He spent the last 4 years (1996-1999) of his professional career as the Director of the Department of Energy’s Petroleum Reserve, a position which was rated at a Senior Executive Service 5 level, once again the highest level of a Federal employee.

He was recognized for his success as a civilian as well as the numerous military awards.  Then Secretary of Energy Frederico Pena, authored a letter of commendation for cumulative sales in excess of 16 billion dollars to the U.S. Treasurer.  Assistant Secretary of Energy for Fossil Energy recognized Williams for his maximization of revenue to the government prior to the sale of NPR-1.  Finally, in July 1999, Williams was awarded the Distinguished Career Service award by the DOE Secretary of Energy.

 Williams is most proud of his children’s accomplishments.  Steven is the Director of Houchin Cotton International in Sinapore; Rodney is the Technical Manager for Frontier Business Machines in Anchorage, Alaska; Tyrel is the Director of School Construction for the San Jose (CA.) Unified School District, and Lisa is a Manager of Software Engineering for Valueclick.com in Santa Barbara, California.