Born.... August 9, 1955 in Zachary, Louisiana, U.S.
Brief.... Height 6'4" Weight 220lbs
College..... Grambling State
NFL Draft..... 1978 / Round: 1 | Pick: 17
Buccaneers Career..... 1978 - 1982
Ended Career By..... 1983 USFL Free Agent
Williams was the first franchise quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he was selected in the first round in 1978 and started for five seasons leading the Bucs to the playoffs in three of those years. Left the Bucs in 1983 after a bitter contract dispute and spent three seasons playing in the USFL but returned to the NFL in 1987 and became Super Bowl MVP in leading the Redskins to a 42-10 victory over Denver. Had two separate spells in the Buccaneer front office and also coached at Grambling and for the Scottish Claymores in NFL Europe. Inducted into the Bucs' Ring of Honor in 2015. Williams is known for his remarkable performance in Super Bowl XXII. Williams, who was named the Super Bowl MVP, passed for a Super Bowl record 340 yards and four touchdowns, with one interception. He also became the first player in Super Bowl history to pass for four touchdowns in a single quarter, and four in a half. Williams was the first African American quarterback to start in an NFL league championship game and the first to win a Super Bowl, in 1988 (Russell Wilson became the second to win in 2014 with Super Bowl XLVIII).
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.
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). Williams finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, behind Earl Campbell, Terry Miller, and Ken MacAfee. Williams graduated from Grambling with a degree in education, and began work on a graduate 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-foot-4, 220-pound 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.
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 franchise history over two seasons, went to the playoffs three times in four years and played in the 1979 NFC Championship Game. Williams improved his completion percentage each year with the Bucs and was regarded as the heart and soul of the team.
Williams was the only starting African-American quarterback in the NFL at that time. During his tenure with the Buccaneers, Williams was only paid $120,000 a year. Not only was this far and away the lowest salary for a starting quarterback in the league, but it was 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. While Culverhouse's offer was still more than triple Williams' previous salary, he would have still been among the lowest-paid starters in the league. 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. They would not have any real stability under center until the arrival of Trent Dilfer. Many Bucs fans blame Culverhouse's refusal to bend in the negotiations with Williams as a major factor. Culverhouse's willingness to let Williams get away over such a relatively small amount of money was seen as particularly insensitive, coming only months after Williams' wife Janice died of a brain tumor.
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 consulting capacity for Southern University during the 1985 season, after the USFL folded. Williams also served on the high school level as head coach and athletic director at Pointe Coupee Central High School in LaBarre, Louisiana in 1991, going 5-5, 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 University 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.
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.
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
On May 11, 2010, it was announced that Williams would no longer be the director professional scouting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 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.
On February 10, 2014, the Washington Redskins hired Williams as a front office personnel executive. The hiring marks Williams’ return to the Redskins, as well as reuniting him with GM Bruce Allen.
1988... Super Bowl champion (XXII)
1988... Super Bowl XXII MVP
2015... Tampa Stadium Krewe of Honor
2015... Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor
2015... 80 Greatest Redskins
2015... Washington Redskins Ring of Fame
2015... College Football Hall of Fame inductee
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