Doug Williams (American football)
Doug Williams at a fundraiser in 2008
No. 12, 17
|Date of birth:August 9, 1955|
|Place of birth: Zachary, Louisiana|
|High school: Zachary (LA) Chaneyville|
|College: Grambling State|
|NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 1 / Pick: 17|
|Debuted in 1978 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Last played in 1989 for the Washington Redskins|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
|College Football Hall of Fame|
Douglas Lee "Doug" Williams (born August 9, 1955) is a former American football quarterback and former head coach of the Grambling State Tigers football team. Williams is best 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 black starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, and the only one until Russell Wilson won Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Williams was drafted in the first round (17th overall) of the 1978 NFL Draft, chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out of Grambling State University. The Bucs, who had never been to the playoffs before Williams arrived, 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.
Doug 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—far and away the lowest salary for a starting quarterback in the league, and behind 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 wasn't paying him what a starter should earn, Williams bolted to the upstart United States Football League. 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. 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's wife Janice died of a brain tumor.
After leaving the NFL, Williams signed with the USFL's Oklahoma Outlaws. He led his team in passing completing 261 out of 528 passes for 3,084 yards and threw 15 touchdowns, yet he also threw 21 interceptions, ending up with a passer rating of 60.5, during a dismal 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.
After the USFL shut down in 1986, Williams returned to the NFL, joining the Washington Redskins at the behest of Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who had been the offensive coordinator at Tampa Bay when Williams was there.
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 did not like Schroeder at all, stemming from his anger at 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 sub 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 subbed for Schroeder and led the team to victory (the other two were 11/15 vs. Detroit and 12/26 at Minnesota). Williams only started two games, 9/20 at Atlanta and 11/23 vs. 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. 
Facing legendary Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, Williams engineered a 42-10 rout, in which the Redskins set an NFL record by scoring four 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' NFL career. He suffered from injuries the following season, and was outshined 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". Williams would play one final season in 1989, as backup to Rypien, 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.
On the day before Super Bowl XXII, Williams had a six-hour root canal surgery performed (under full anaesthetic) to repair an abscess under a dental bridge. The pain of this condition caused him to lose sleep for several days, as reported in the book "Hit and Tell:War Stories of the NFL"(/K.Lynch, Foghorn Press).
Administrative and coaching career
Williams started off his college head coaching career at Morehouse College in 1997. He also has previous NFL experience as a scout for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and as offensive coordinator for the Scottish Claymores of the World League of American Football in 1995, and tutored running backs for Navy in 1994. Williams also excelled on the high school level as head coach and athletic director at Pointe Coupee Central High School in LaBarre, Louisiana 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 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.
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 Doug Williams as a front office personnel executive. The hiring marks Williams’ return to the Redskins, as well as reuniting him with GM Bruce Allen.
Head coaching record
|Morehouse Maroon Tigers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1997)|
|Grambling State Tigers (Southwestern Athletic Conference) (1998–2003)|
|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)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
* Williams was fired on September 11, 2013.
Williams and his wife, Jackie, 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 while D.J. signed to play for his father at Grambling State University.
- Scheiber, Dave. "So Who's Laughing Now?" St. Petersburg Times. 26 January 2003
- Lieber, Jill. "Well-Armed Pioneer". Sports Illustrated. 1 February 1988
- Richman, Michael. The Redskins Encyclopedia. Temple University Press, 2007.
- Bucs Promote Williams, Hire Several Assistants Yahoo Sports, February 3, 2009
- Ex-Bucs QB Williams leaving front-office job after meeting with GM NFL, May 11, 2010
- Redskins hire Doug Williams Washington Post, February 10, 2014
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Doug Williams (American football).|
- Official website
- Shack Harris & Doug Williams Foundation
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • Pro-Football-Reference