After replacing the legendary Eddie Robinson to become only thesecond head football coach in the history ofGramblingStateUniversity, Doug Williams has announced that he will leave theTigers to join the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
At a Feb. 12 news conference, Bucs General Manager BruceAllen said Williams would become the team’s new personnelexecutive.
“Why would you not pick somebody who was a first-rounddraft choice from a historic college, played under a legendarycoach, was a great NFL player, played in two professional leagues,coached in high school, Europe and two colleges?” Allen said.
Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden said, “It’s been welldocumented that maybe the Buccaneers haven’t had thetradition that maybe a lot of teams have had. But Doug Williams, inall my years as a coach, ranks at the very top of my list as ahuman being, as a competitor, as a leader.”
A 1978 graduate of GramblingState, Williams will return toTampaBay after 21 years.
A Bucs first-round draft pick in his graduation year, Williamsspent four years with the team and led them to the playoffs threetimes.
“Let me say it this way. Getting out of the coaching elementwasn’t as hard as walking away from Grambling,” Williamssaid. “Grambling is going to always be right there for me. I thinkwhen you get an opportunity like I have here, to be a part ofsomething great and something that you can have a hand in, it makesit a little easier. “
After leaving TampaBay in 1982, Williams played with theOklahoma Outlaws of the now-defunct United States Football Leaguebefore signing with the Washington Redskins. Williams made historythere in 1988 as the first African American quarterback to startand win a Super Bowl. He also was the game’s most valuableplayer. Williams retired from the National Football League in 1989due to a back injury.
After scouting for the Jacksonville Jaguars and coaching on thehigh school and collegiate level, Williams replaced Robinson in1998.
“Grambling has been good for me and I hope that I’ve beengood for Grambling,” Williams said.
His record at Grambling is 52-18, while his overall coachingrecord is 55-26.
Nikki G. Bannister, a student at Southern University, writes forThe Southern Digest.