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Doug Williams
refer to caption
Williams in 2015
No. 12, 17
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Born: (1955-08-09) August 9, 1955 (age 62)
Zachary, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school: Zachary (LA) Chaneyville
College: Grambling State
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17
Career history
As player:
As coach:
As executive:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts: 2,507
Pass completions: 1,240
Percentage: 49.5
TDINT: 100–93
Passing yards: 16,998
QB rating: 69.4
Player stats at NFL.com

Douglas Lee Williams (born August 9, 1955) is a former American football quarterback and former head coach of the Grambling State Tigers football team. Williams is known for his remarkable performance with the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII against the Denver Broncos. Williams, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, passed for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. He was the first African-American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl.[3] Williams also became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half. Williams is now a team executive for the Redskins, being hired for that role in 2014.

Collegiate career[edit]

Williams attended Grambling State University, where he played for legendary head coach Eddie Robinson. Williams guided the Tigers to a 36-7 (.837 winning percentage) record as a four-year starter, and led the Tigers to three Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships. Williams was named Black College Player of the Year twice.[4]

In 1977, Williams led the NCAA in several categories, including total yards from scrimmage (3,249), passing yards (3,286), touchdown passes (38), and yards per play (8.6).[5] Williams finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, behind Earl Campbell, Terry Miller, and Ken MacAfee.[6] Williams graduated from Grambling with a bachelor's degree in education, and he began work on his master's degree before the 1978 NFL Draft.

Despite the success that he enjoyed on the field, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs was the only NFL coach that visited Grambling to work Williams out and scout him. Gibbs spent two days with the 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 220 lb (100 kg) quarterback, reviewing play books, film, and going through passing drills. Impressed by his poise, work ethic, and studious nature, Gibbs wrote in his scouting report that Williams had "a big-time arm with perfect passing mechanics" and was "a natural leader...very academic and extremely prepared...football smart," and recommended that the Buccaneers select Williams with their first-round draft choice.[7]

Professional career[edit]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

Following the recommendation of Gibbs, Tampa Bay drafted Williams in the first round (17th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft. The Bucs, who had never been to the playoffs before Williams arrived and won just two games in the first two years of the franchise, went to the playoffs three times in four years and played in the 1979 NFC Championship Game. During his time in Tampa Williams improved his completion percentage each year.

Williams was the only starting African-American quarterback in the NFL at that time. During his tenure with the Buccaneers, Williams was paid $120,000 a year, the lowest salary for a starting quarterback in the league, and less than the salary of 12 backups. After the 1982 season, Williams asked for a $600,000 contract. Bucs owner Hugh Culverhouse refused to budge from his initial offer of $400,000 despite protests from coach John McKay. Feeling that Culverhouse was not paying him what a starter should earn, Williams bolted to the upstart United States Football League's Oklahoma Outlaws. The next year the Bucs went 2-14, and they would not make the playoffs again for 14 years, until after the 1997 season, and lost ten games in every season but one in that stretch. Culverhouse's willingness to let Williams walk away over such a relatively small amount of money was seen as insensitive, especially as it came only months after Williams' wife Janice died of a brain tumor.[8][9]

Oklahoma/Arizona Outlaws[edit]

In 1984, Williams led the Outlaws of the USFL in passing, completing 261 out of 528 passes for 3,084 yards and threw 15 touchdowns. However, he threw 21 interceptions, ending up with a passer rating of 60.5, during a 6-12 season. In 1985, the team moved to Arizona and fused with the Arizona Wranglers to become the Arizona Outlaws, Williams showed some improvement, completing 271 out of 509 passes for 3,673 yards with 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions for a 76.4 passer rating. However, the Outlaws missed the playoffs with an 8–10 record.

Washington Redskins[edit]

After the USFL was shuttered in 1986, Williams returned to the NFL, joining the Washington Redskins. He was reunited with his former offensive coordinator, Gibbs, who was now head coach of the team. Initially, Williams served as the backup for starting quarterback Jay Schroeder, but after Schroeder became injured, Williams stepped in and led the Redskins to an opening-day victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1987 season. Williams and Schroeder had a somewhat chilly relationship, stemming from Schroeder ordering Williams to get off the field when the Redskins thought he was injured in the 1986 NFC title game and sent Williams to substitute for him, and the team's veterans also preferred Williams over Schroeder as the team's quarterback. It would be one of three times in 1987 that Williams substituted for Schroeder and led the team to victory (the other two were November 15 against Detroit and December 26 at Minnesota). Williams only started two games, September 20 at Atlanta and November 23 against the Rams. While both starts were losses, at the end of the season, when the Redskins had qualified for the playoffs, Williams, with his 94.0 passer rating, was chosen as the starter. He led the team to Super Bowl XXII in which they routed the Denver Broncos, becoming the first black quarterback to play in a Super Bowl.

According to legend, Williams was asked this question on Media Day: "How long have you been a black quarterback?" He supposedly replied, "I've been a quarterback since high school, and I've been black all my life." The story is untrue, but Williams says he still gets asked about it. On February 1, 2013, Williams was interviewed on the Boomer and Carton show, and he was asked by the host Craig Carton if the question ever happened. He replied that it was true. Williams said he thought the reporter was a little nervous and the question may have come out the wrong way and that no ill will was meant towards him.[10][11][12]

On the day before Super Bowl XXII, Williams had a six-hour root canal surgery performed (under full anesthetic) to repair an abscess under a dental bridge. The pain of this condition caused him to lose sleep for several days.[13]

Facing legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, Williams engineered a 42–10 rout, in which the Redskins set an NFL record by scoring five touchdowns in the second quarter. Williams completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards, with four touchdown passes, and was named Super Bowl MVP.

The Super Bowl was clearly the high point of Williams's NFL career. He suffered from injuries the following season and was outplayed by Mark Rypien, who eventually won the starting job from Williams. Despite competing for the same starting job, Williams and Rypien were so supportive of each other that T-shirts were sold with the caption "United We Stand", depicting the two quarterbacks as cartoon characters with Williams saying "I'm for Mark" and Rypien saying "I'm for Doug".[14] Williams would play one final season in 1989, as Rypien's backup, during the latter's first Pro Bowl season.

Williams retired with a 5–9 record as Redskins starter (8–9, counting playoffs) and a 38–42–1 record as a regular season starter (42–45–1, including 7 playoff starts). He had 100 passing touchdowns, and 15 rushing touchdowns, in 88 NFL games.

Administrative and coaching career[edit]

Williams (left) as head coach of Grambling State, posing with a marine (right) in November 2011.

Williams started off his college head coaching career at Morehouse College in 1997. He also has previous professional football-level experience: as a scout for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and as offensive coordinator for the Scottish Claymores of the World League of American Football earlier that year. Prior to that he tutored running backs for Navy in 1994 and acted in a paid (non-coaching) consulting capacity for Southern University during the 1985 season, after the USFL folded.[2] Williams also served on the high school level as the first head coach and athletic director at the new Pointe Coupee Central High School in LaBarre, Louisiana–finishing a respectable 5–5[1] in the school's inaugural season in 1991—and in 1993 he was head coach at Northeast High School in his hometown of Zachary, Louisiana, where he guided the team to a 13–1 record and the state semifinals.

Williams became the head football coach at Grambling State in 1998, succeeding the legendary Eddie Robinson. He led the Tigers to three consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference titles from 2000–2002, before leaving to rejoin the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a personnel executive.[15]

At the conclusion of Super Bowl XLII, on the 20th anniversary of being named Super Bowl XXII MVP, Williams carried the Vince Lombardi trophy on to the field for presentation to the winning New York Giants.

Williams was promoted to the position of director of professional scouting in February 2009.[16]

In 2009, Williams along with fellow Grambling State alumnus James Harris, founded the Black College Football Hall of Fame. Each year, several notable football players from historically black colleges and universities are entered in its hall of fame at an induction ceremony in Atlanta, Georgia[17]

On May 11, 2010, it was announced that Williams would no longer be the director professional scouting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[18] He was subsequently hired as the general manager of the Norfolk expansion franchise in the United Football League, now known as the Virginia Destroyers.

On February 21, 2011, Williams resigned from the Destroyers to begin his second stint as the head football coach at Grambling State University. He was fired from this position on September 11, 2013.[19]

On February 10, 2014, the Washington Redskins hired Williams as a front office personnel executive. The hiring marks Williams’ return to the Redskins.[20]

On June 13, 2017, the Redskins named Williams as the Senior Vice President of Player Personnel.[21][22]

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Morehouse Maroon Tigers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1997)
1997 Morehouse 3–8
Morehouse: 3–8
Grambling State Tigers (Southwestern Athletic Conference) (1998–2003)
1998 Grambling State 5–6 4–4 T–4th
1999 Grambling State 7–4 2–2 3rd (West)
2000 Grambling State 10–2 6–1 1st (West)
2001 Grambling State 10–1 6–1 1st (West)
2002 Grambling State 11–2 6–1 1st (West)
2003 Grambling State 9–3 6–1 T–1st (West)
Grambling State Tigers (Southwestern Athletic Conference) (2011–2013)
2011 Grambling State 8–4 6–3 1st (West)
2012 Grambling State 1–10 0–9 5th (West)
2013 Grambling State 0–2* 0–1*
Grambling State: 61–34 36–23
Total: 65–39
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title or championship game berth

* Williams was fired on September 11, 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Williams was born in Zachary, Louisiana. Williams and his wife, Raunda, have eight children: Ashley; Adrian; Doug, Jr.; Jasmine; Laura; Lee; Temessia; Carmaleta. His sons Adrian and Doug Jr. (D.J.) are both accomplished collegiate athletes. Adrian played basketball for Brown University until graduating after the 2010-11 season[23] while D.J. signed to play for his father at Grambling State University. Doug's nephew Johnny Huggins also played in the NFL.[24] Doug Williams was married to Janice Williams, who at the age of 26, died from a brain tumor, while he was playing for the Bucs. The daughter Ashley is from that marriage.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Doug Williams Records 5–5 Mark As H.S. Coach". Jet (vol. 81, no. 13, p. 46). January 20, 1992. 
  2. ^ a b Karen Didier (August 25, 1985). "Jags hire Williams as team consultant". Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate (sec. D, p. 5). 
  3. ^ Kay, Stanley; Hersh, Daniel (January 24, 2016). "Cam Newton joins select group of black QBs to reach Super Bowl". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  4. ^ Philipse, Sander (February 20, 2011). "Doug Williams inducted into Black College Football Hall of Fame". BucsNation.com. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Doug Williams". sports-reference.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-09-01. 
  6. ^ "1977 Heisman Trophy Voting". sports-reference.com. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  7. ^ Garber, Greg (January 29, 2013). "Doug Williams embraces history". espn.go.com. Ruston, Louisiana: ESPN. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  8. ^ Scheiber, Dave. "So Who's Laughing Now?" St. Petersburg Times. 26 January 2003
  9. ^ Lieber, Jill. "Well-Armed Pioneer". Sports Illustrated. 1 February 1988
  10. ^ Bianchi, Mike (January 30, 2007). "Dumbest question was never asked". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  11. ^ Mikkelson, David. "Quarterback Speak". Snopes.com. Retrieved February 4, 2018. 
  12. ^ Woods, Mark. "The Question misquoted, but still lives". The Florida Times-Union. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved February 4, 2018 – via jacksonville.com. 
  13. ^ Lynch, Kevin; Hession, Joseph. Hit and Tell: War Stories of the NFL. Foghorn Press. ISBN 9780935701975. 
  14. ^ Richman, Michael. The Redskins Encyclopedia. Temple University Press, 2007.
  15. ^ http://gramblingfootball.blogspot.com/2006/08/grambling-greats-doug-williams.html
  16. ^ Bucs Promote Williams, Hire Several Assistants Yahoo Sports, February 3, 2009
  17. ^ http://www.blackcollegefootballhof.org/about/halloffame
  18. ^ Ex-Bucs QB Williams leaving front-office job after meeting with GM NFL, May 11, 2010
  19. ^ http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/09/doug-williams-fired-as-grambling-state-s-head-football-coach-93887.html
  20. ^ Redskins hire Doug Williams Washington Post, February 10, 2014
  21. ^ "Redskins Promote Doug Williams To Senior Vice President Of Player Personnel". Redskins.com. June 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  22. ^ "Doug Williams to serve as senior VP of player personnel for Redskins". ESPN.com. June 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  23. ^ http://brownbears.com/sports/m-baskbl/2010-11/bios/williams_adrian00.html
  24. ^ "J.J. Huggins". all-xfl.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015. 

External links[edit]



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