J. William Douglas was born on January 9, 1939. Douglas received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Biology at West Virginia University in 1962, a Master of Science degree in Health and Safety Education at West Virginia University in 1962, and a Ph.D. in Physical Education and Higher Education Administration at Ohio State University in 1969.
Shortly after, Douglas was employed by the Monongalia County Board of Education and after graduating from WVU served as professor and coach at Glenville State College. In 1967, he moved to Ohio State University where he earned his doctorate and served as an instructor. He was later named Chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education and Director of Athletics at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1969.
Douglas returned to WVU as a professor and chair for the School of Physical Education in 1972. In 1979, he was named Dean of the WVU School of Physical Education. After resigning as Dean in 1992, Douglas was a professor in the School's Sport Management Program and assisted the dean with fundraising and development activities. During his time at the College, he aided in the School's advancements in countless ways. Additionally, he is the founder of the School of Physical Education's Hall of Fame.
He retired in May 2001 and worked as a part-time faculty member in the Sport Management Program. During this time Douglas continued to assist with fund raising. He currently serves as professor emeritus for the School of Physical Education. Douglas has served as president of state and district professional organizations and as a member of two national Board of Governors. He has received numerous service awards and has been an active member in several community, district, and national organizations including Rotary Club, PATCH, American Red Cross, Vision 2000, and Valley Community Mental Health Center.
Douglas and his wife, Karen, reside in Morgantown. He has two children, Kathryn Douglas Zuberer and William Douglas; two stepchildren, Mishele Fowler and Jack King: two grandchildren, Ray Edward Zuberer, III, and John Douglas Zuberer; and one step-grandchild, Erin Elizabeth Fowler.