McCrae’s Story

McCrae Williams fulfilled his dream to play Division 1 Lacrosse as a Goalie when he was recruited to play for Lafayette College. McCrae was a true scholar athlete – incredibly well known for his spectacular game-changing saves as well as his accomplishments in the classroom. Tragically, McCrae passed away due to a traumatic head injury resulting not on the field but from a fall in his freshman dorm after attending a lacrosse introduction party.

Instead of summoning emergency help, students strapped a backpack on him (also known as Jansporting or drunkpacking) and put him to bed in the misguided belief it would be helpful. But as the hours passed, McCrae’s brain bled uncontrollably, and by the time help was called, it was too late. Shortly after arriving at a neuro trauma center, it was clear that McCrae was in grave peril. He passed away Sept 12, 2017. Within days, he was taken off life support and his organs were donated to 5 individuals.

It is horribly tragic that an athlete who was so well known for making saves as the last line of defense wasn’t saved by those around him. If 911 had been called, McCrae would be with us today. His death was completely avoidable. When students are afraid to call for help at a time of medical need, they are taking great risk with the lives of others.

In McCrae’s memory, the McCrae James Williams Foundation was established.


Although McCrae’s life was cut tragically short, it was a life well-lived and one full of incredible experiences. The letters in McCrae’s name fully embody who he was.