Richard Williamson (American football)

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Richard Williamson
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1941-04-13)April 13, 1941
Fort Deposit, Alabama
Died September 21, 2015(2015-09-21) (aged 74)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Alma mater University of Alabama
Playing career
1959–1962 Alabama
Position(s) Running back / Wide receiver
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1963–1967 Alabama (WR)
1968–1969 Arkansas (Asst.)
1970–1971 Alabama (DL)
1972–1974 Arkansas (OC)
1975–1980 Memphis
1983–1986 Kansas City (WR)
1987–1990 Tampa Bay (WR/Asst HC)
1990–1991 Tampa Bay
1992–1994 Cincinnati (WR)
1995–2000 Carolina (WR)
2000–2001 Carolina (Asst HC/OC/WR)
2002–2009 Carolina (WR)
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
All-SEC Team (1962)

Richard Williamson (April 13, 1941 – September 21, 2015) was an American football coach. He coached both college and in the National Football League.

College career[edit]

Williamson was a wide receiver under legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant for the 1961 and 1962 seasons. He caught Joe Namath's first touchdown pass at Alabama. He was one of five players who testified to an Alabama Legislative Committee after The Saturday Evening Post ran an article claiming that Georgia head coach Wally Butts had conspired with Bear Bryant to throw a football game. Both Bryant and Butts later were awarded money in libel suits against the paper. Williamson was the 55th pick in the 1963 American Football League Draft, drafted by the Boston Patriots, but he chose to stay at Alabama as a coach, helping the Tide win National Championships for the 1964 and 1965 seasons.

After a two-year coaching stay at the University of Arkansas, Williamson returned to Alabama for 1970-1971 before leaving for Arkansas again (from 1972 to 1974). Williamson then left for Memphis State University, this time becoming head coach (1975–1980). Williamson's teams finished 7-4 (1975, 1976), 6-5 (1977), 4-7 (1978), 5-6 (1979), and 2-9 (1980). Williamson was honored with the Southern Independent Conference Coach of the Year award twice. After being fired from Memphis, Williamson spent several years as the executive director of the Bluebonnet Bowl.

Pro career[edit]

Williamson returned to coaching in 1983, when he was hired as an assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs under new coach John Mackovic. After Mackovic was fired following the 1986 season, Williamson was told by the new head coach that he would not be retained. He moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, working under fellow former Alabama coach Ray Perkins as offensive coordinator. When Perkins was fired late in the 1990 season, Williamson was named interim head coach, leading the team to a 1-2 record. Named head coach in 1991, Williamson went 3-13 before being fired at the end of the season.

Williamson was the receivers coach for the Cincinnati Bengals from 1992-1994 under David Shula. Williamson left in 1995 to join the newly formed Carolina Panthers as receivers coach.

In 2000, Williamson was named assistant head coach under George Seifert; he was later named offensive coordinator as well, after Bill Musgrave resigned four games into the season. After the 2001 season, Williamson returned to coachng the receivers under new head coach, John Fox. Williamson was well known as one of the top receivers coaches in the league. He cemented this reputation during his time in Carolina; he developed Muhsin Muhammad and Steve Smith into Pro Bowl mainstays.

Williamson announced his retirement on January 18, 2010, after 15 seasons with the Panthers.[1] He was the last member of the original 1995 staff still with the team.

Personal life[edit]

Williamson and his wife, Norma, had two grown children, Rich and Caroline. Williamson was living in Charlotte, North Carolina at the time of his death. He died on September 21, 2015.[2][3]