Mark Williams (Australian footballer, born 1958)
|Full name||Mark Melville Williams|
|Date of birth||21 August 1958|
|Height||183 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (176 lb)|
|1976–78||West Adelaide||64 (37)|
|1979–80; 1990–92||Port Adelaide||115 (104)|
|1987–90||Brisbane Bears||66 (58)|
|Representative team honours|
|1999–2010||Port Adelaide||273 (150–121–2)|
|2008||Dream Team||1 (0–1–0)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1992.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2008.
3 Coaching statistics correct as of 2020.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Mark Melville Williams (born 21 August 1958) is a former Australian rules football player and coach. As a player, Williams represented Port Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) as well as Collingwood and Brisbane Bears in the Australian Football League (AFL) from the 1980s to the 1990s.
One of several successful father-son combinations in Australian rules football, Williams became a successful coach after finishing his playing career, leading Port Adelaide to their first AFL premiership in 2004.
Early life and career
The son of South Australian football legend Fos Williams, Williams playing career began with West Adelaide, where his father was serving as coach. He represented West Adelaide on 64 occasions for 37 goals. Williams then moved to the Port Adelaide Football Club, becoming one of the stars of the SANFL.
Moving to Victoria (1981–1990)
After the 1980 season, Williams was recruited by Collingwood, making his Victorian Football League (VFL) debut in the 1981 season. Williams justified the hype over his recruitment by winning state selection for Victoria as well as the Copeland Trophy. He was named at centre for Collingwood in the Grand Final against Carlton. Collingwood lost, but Williams was recognised as being among the Magpies' better players on the day. When John Cahill took over as coach after a tumultuous season in 1982, he appointed Williams captain, having previously worked with him at Port Adelaide. Williams remained captain of Collingwood until he left at the end of 1986.
In 1984 Williams led Collingwood's goalkicking, kicking 53 goals for the season. However, he was unavailable for the Preliminary Final due to injury, and Collingwood went down to eventual premiers Essendon by 133 points.
A contract dispute at the end of the 1986 season saw Williams reluctantly make the move north to join the fledgling Brisbane Bears. He was appointed vice-captain to Mark Mickan at the new club. Williams played three and a half seasons before retiring from the Bears midway through the 1990 AFL season.
Return to South Australia (1990–1992)
Williams returned to Port Adelaide, and finished the 1990 season there, before playing a further two seasons. In his two stints at Port Adelaide, Williams played 115 games, kicking 104 goals, and won four premierships. He retired from playing at the end of 1992, with a total of 380 league games to his name.
Coaching career (1993–present)
Port Adelaide Football Club (1997–2010)
In 1997, Williams joined Port Adelaide as an assistant coach in its inaugural season in the AFL, and in 1999, won the head coaching role at Port Adelaide, replacing John Cahill. Port Adelaide won the minor premiership three seasons in a row under Williams' reign (2002, 2003 and 2004); after failing to reach the Grand Final in either 2002 or 2003, the club went on to win its first AFL premiership in 2004. In 2007, Williams once again coached Port Adelaide to the Grand Final, but his side suffered the worst ever grand final defeat, losing to Geelong by 119 points. Throughout 2009, Port Adelaide's inconsistent on-field performances continued to focus on Williams' future at the club. Late in the season, following the appointment of Mark Haysman as CEO, and after much conjecture in the media, Williams was offered a new 2-year contract. On 9 July 2010, Williams resigned as coach of Port Adelaide and coached his final game for Port Adelaide against Collingwood at AAMI Stadium.
Greater Western Sydney Giants (2011–2012)
In 2010, Williams signed with the Greater Western Sydney Giants as the senior assistant coach to Kevin Sheedy. In September 2012, Williams informed the club after the last home and away game of the season that he would not be honouring the final season of his contract in 2013.
Richmond Football Club (2013–2016)
After the completion of the 2012 home and away season, Williams signed with the Richmond Football Club as a development coach working with senior coach Damien Hardwick. In November 2014, Williams was diagnosed with lymphoma.
Werribee Football Club (2019–2020)
In September 2018, Williams was announced as new coach of Victorian Football League club Werribee on a three-year deal. In his first season at the helm, Williams led Werribee to the VFL finals for the first time since 2015 and its first time as a standalone club in 20 years.
Melbourne Football Club (2020 - present)
Williams comes from a large and intensely proud footballing dynasty, closely aligned with Port Adelaide. His father, the late Fos Williams, is often referred to as the father of the Port Adelaide Football Club. His twin brother Anthony played at SANFL level, while younger brother Stephen played at both SANFL and AFL level and coached Port Adelaide to three SANFL premierships. His sister, Jenny, briefly served as a psychologist with the club. Mark is married to Pauline and they have three sons and two daughters.
|Season||Team||No.||Games||Totals||Averages (per game)|
|W||Wins||L||Losses||D||Draws||W%||Winning percentage||LP||Ladder position||LT||League teams|
- "Tigers' Choco treat". Richmond Football Club. 20 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Richmond Football Club (4 September 2012); Dimma’s ‘Choco’ delight Archived 6 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "AFL premiership coach Mark 'Choco' Williams diagnosed with Lymphoma". 23 November 2014.
- "Mark "Choco" Williams joins Werribee as senior coach". www.werribeefc.com.au. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "Round 19 Wrap: Werribee vs Box Hill (Beyond Blue Cup)". www.werribeefc.com.au. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "Is this the end of the Williams dynasty?". AdelaideNow.com.au. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
- Mark Williams' player profile at AFL Tables
- Mark Williams' coaching profile at AFL Tables