Bobby Williams

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Bobby Williams
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Special teams coordiantor
Team Oregon
Conference Pac-12
Biographical details
Born (1958-11-21) November 21, 1958 (age 59)
St. Louis, Missouri
Playing career
1978–1981 Purdue
Position(s) Running back, defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1982 Purdue (GA)
1983–1984 Ball State (RB/S)
1985–1989 Eastern Michigan (backfield)
1990–1999 Michigan State (RB)
1999–2002 Michigan State
2003 Detroit Lions (WR)
2004 LSU (WR)
2005–2006 Miami Dolphins (RB)
2007 St. Thomas Aquinas HS (assistant)
2008–2015 Alabama (TE/ST)
2016–2017 Alabama (special assistant)
2018–present Oregon (ST)
Head coaching record
Overall 16–17
Bowls 2–0

Robert Vann Williams (born November 21, 1958) is an American football coach. He is the special teams coordinator at the University of Oregon, a position he has held since the 2018 season. Williams served as the head football coach at of Michigan State University from 1999 to 2002.

Playing career[edit]

During his time at Purdue University, between 1978 and 1982, Williams was a four-year letterman for the Boilermakers football team and a captain in his senior season.[1][2] He started for three years in the secondary, after spending his freshman season at running back.[1] He graduated in 1982 with a degree in general management.[1]

Coaching career[edit]

After spending one season as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Williams got his first coaching position as a running back and secondary coach at Ball State, where he remained for two seasons.[1][3] He spent the next five seasons as an offensive backfield coach at Eastern Michigan.[1][3]

On December 6, 1999, Williams was named as the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans football team.[4] Williams coached the Spartans to a 37–34 win over Florida in the 2000 Citrus Bowl in his first game as head coach. In his first full season as head coach, the Spartans began their 2000 season 3–0, with wins over Marshall, Missouri, and Notre Dame, before losing four consecutive and finishing the season 5–6.[5] The Spartans did improve in the following season, though were inconsistent, and finished the regular season 6–5, which included a win versus rival Michigan in the infamous "Clockgate"[6] game. In the 2001 Silicon Valley Football Classic, Michigan State defeated Fresno State 44–35, finishing the season 7–5 and giving Williams his second bowl victory.[7] With the victory, he became the first coach in Spartans history to win his first two bowl games.[1] Nearing the end of his third season, Michigan State was 3–6 and last place in the Big Ten when the Spartans decided to fire Williams as head coach.[8]

After leaving Michigan State, Williams went into the NFL as a wide receiver coach for the Detroit Lions.[9] During his time with the Lions, he was reunited with wide receiver Charles Rogers, whom he had recruited and coached at MSU. After one season in the NFL, Williams returned to college as a wide receiver coach, as well as an assistant head coach under Nick Saban at LSU.[1] After Saban left LSU for the Miami Dolphins, Williams followed him to become a running back coach for the team several months later.[2] However, after two seasons with the Dolphins, Williams was fired at his position.[10] On January 18, 2008, Williams again rejoined Saban at Alabama, accepting the position of tight end and special teams coordinator.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Williams is married to Sheila Williams. The couple has two children: a daughter, Nataly, member of the Theta Sigma chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and a son, Nicholas.[1]

Coaching tree[edit]

Assistant coaches under Bobby Williams who became NCAA or NFL head coaches:

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1999–2002)
1999 Michigan State 1–0[n 1] W Florida Citrus 7 7
2000 Michigan State 5–6 2–6 T–9th
2001 Michigan State 7–5 3–5 T–8th W Silicon Valley
2002 Michigan State 3–6* 1–4* T–8th
Michigan State: 16–17 6–15 *Fired after 9 games.
Total: 16–17


  1. ^ Nick Saban resigned as head coach at Michigan State following the end of the 1999 regular season. Williams succeeded Saban as head coach and led the Spartans to a victory in the Florida Citrus Bowl. Michigan State finished the season with an overall record of 10–2.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bobby Williams". Archived from the original on 2008-12-20. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  2. ^ a b c "Alabama hires former Michigan State coach Bobby Williams". USA Today. 2008-01-18. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  3. ^ a b Bobby Williams at Retrieved 2009-04-19
  4. ^ "Michigan State ends speculation: Spartans make a popular move, promote assistant with no head-coaching experience". The Detroit News. 1999-12-06.
  5. ^ "Coaching Records Game by Game: 2000". College Football DataWarehouse. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  6. ^ "Last-Second Smoker Pass Spells Defeat For No. 6 Michigan". Michigan State University Athletics. 2001-11-03. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  7. ^ "Michigan State wins Silicon Valley Classic". CBC Sports. 2001-12-31. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  8. ^ Wieberg, Steve (2002-11-04). "Troubled times at Michigan State". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  9. ^ "Bobby Williams". Detroit Lions. Archived from the original on May 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  10. ^ "Dolphins fire running backs coach". Miami Herald. 2007-04-20.

External links[edit]