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Tue, 08.09.1955

Doug Williams, Football, Player, and Administrator born

Doug Williams

*Doug Williams was born on this date in 1955. He is a Black football executive and former quarterback and coach.

Douglas Lee Williams was born in Zachary, Louisiana, a town of about 8,000 people located near Baton Rouge. Williams attended Grambling State University where he played under head coach Eddie Robinson. In his first two seasons, he played on the same team as future NFL receiver Sammy White. 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. In 1977, Williams finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, he 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 National Football League coach that visited Williams to work him out and scout him. Gibbs recommended that the Buccaneers select Williams with their first-round draft choice. Williams is best known for his performance with the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XXII against the Denver Broncos, where he was named Super Bowl MVP after passing for 340 yards and four touchdowns, a single-quarter Super Bowl record which he set in the second quarter, making him the first black quarterback to both start and win a Super Bowl. Following his playing career in the NFL, Williams worked on television in 1990 as a college football analyst for the Black Entertainment Television (BET).

Despite enjoying the change of pace, Williams longed to return to football and when a high school head coaching position opened up in 1991 at the new Pointe Coupee Central High School in the unincorporated Labarre area of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, Williams applied for the job and was hired for the position. Williams led the 35-player team to a 5–5 record in the season, including an upset of the second-ranked school in the state. In 1992, Williams was able to move on to the coach to his former high school in Zachary, now renamed Northeast High. Playing its home games on a field bearing his name, Williams was able to lead the team to an undefeated regular season, finally falling in the state semi-finals. During the 1993 Louisiana HS playoffs, his team notably knocked out Isidore Newman High School, then led by senior quarterback Peyton Manning.

Williams moved to the collegiate coaching ranks in 1994, when he was hired as the running backs coach for the football team of the United States Naval Academy. He began coaching at Morehouse College in 1997. He was named the head football coach at Grambling State University in 1998. 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. Williams is currently a member of the College Football Hall of Fame (inducted in 2001); however, he's not currently inducted at the pro level. Williams was named the director of professional scouting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February 2009. In 2009, Williams and fellow Grambling State alumnus James Harris co-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.

He was hired as 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. In February 2014, Williams rejoined the Redskins as a personnel executive. The hiring marked Williams’ return to the Redskins. Williams was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Player Personnel in June 2017. In July 2019, Grambling State honored Williams by naming a street in his honor on the college's campus. In 2020, Williams was named the team's senior vice president of player development. The following year he became a senior advisor to the team president.

Williams and his wife, Raunda, have eight children: Laura, Lee, Ashley, Adrian, Doug, Jr., Jasmine, Temessia, and 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 while D.J. signed to play for his father at Grambling State University. Doug's nephew Johnny Huggins also played in the NFL.

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