Doug Williams is a former professional American football player and coach. He was born on August 9, 1955, in Zachary, Louisiana. Williams is best known for his achievements as a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) and his groundbreaking performance in Super Bowl XXII.
Williams played college football at Grambling State University under legendary coach Eddie Robinson. He had an outstanding collegiate career, setting numerous records and leading Grambling State to three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships. Williams was awarded the Black College Player of the Year twice (1977 and 1978) and the MVP of the 1978 Sugar Bowl.
In the 1978 NFL Draft, Williams was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the 17th overall pick, becoming the first African-American quarterback chosen in the first round. He faced challenges and racial discrimination during his time with the Buccaneers but persevered and became the team’s starting quarterback.
However, it was in Super Bowl XXII, played on January 31, 1988, where Williams made history. Leading the Washington Redskins, Williams became the first African-American quarterback to start in a Super Bowl. He had an incredible performance, throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Williams was named the game’s MVP, and the Redskins went on to win the Super Bowl, defeating the Denver Broncos 42-10.
After his playing career, Doug Williams ventured into coaching. He held various coaching positions in both college and professional football, including serving as the head coach at his alma mater, Grambling State University, from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2011 to 2013. Williams also worked as a personnel executive for several NFL teams, including the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Football Team.
Doug Williams’ success as a quarterback and his groundbreaking achievements in the NFL has had a significant impact on the representation of African-American quarterbacks in the league. He paved the way for future generations of talented players and is regarded as a trailblazer in the sport.