GRAMBLING, La. — Grambling State University, along with the department of athletics, will hold a special ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, July 12 to honor former GSU quarterback Doug Williams.
Grambling State will hold a street naming ceremony in honor of Williams and will take place on the corner of Facilities and Stadium Drive in Grambling, La.
Williams, who was a two-time recipient of the Black College Player of the Year Award, attended Grambling State and played for legendary head coach Eddie Robinson. He guided the Tigers to a 36-7 record as a four-year starter at quarterback and led Grambling State to three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championships.
In 1977, Williams led the NCAA in several categories, including total yards from scrimmage (3,249), passing yards (3,286), touchdown passes (38), and yards per play (8.6). He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting, behind Earl Campbell, Terry Miller and Ken MacAfee.
Williams graduated from Grambling State with a bachelor’s degree in education, and began working on his master’s degree before the 1978 NFL Draft.
Despite the success that he enjoyed on the football field, then-Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Joe Gibbs was the only NFL coach that visited Williams. Gibbs spent two days with Williams, reviewing play books, film and going through passing drills. Gibbs rated Williams as the best quarterback in the draft and the Buccaneers selected the 6-foot-4 quarterback in the first round (17th overall) in the 1978 NFL Draft. With that selection, Williams became the first African-American quarterback taken in the first round of an NFL Draft.
Williams, who threw for 16,998 yards in his professional career, played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1978-1982), Oklahoma/Arizona Outlaws of the USFL (1984-1985) and the Washington Redskins (1986-1989).
During the 1986 season, Williams reunited with Gibbs in Washington and initially served as a backup to Jay Schroeder. However, an injury to Schroeder moved Williams into the starting spot. Williams, who went 42-45-1 overall, passed for 100 touchdowns and rushed for 15 touchdowns in 88 games, helped guide the Redskins to the Super Bowl XXII as Washington routed the Denver Broncos. In addition to winning a Super Bowl, Williams became the first black quarterback to play in the big game. In the Super Bowl, Williams completed 18 of 29 passes for 340 yards, with four touchdowns, as he earned Super MVP honors.
After a career with the Redskins, Williams worked as an executive with Tampa Bay (2004-2010), Virginia Destroyers (2010-11) and Washington Redskins (2014-present). He had a few stops as a head coach, first at Morehouse where he went 3-8 during the 1997. Williams returned to his alma mater, guiding the Tigers to an overall mark of 61-34 and a 36-23 SWAC record from 1998-2003 and 2011-2013. His 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2011 teams were SWAC West Division Champions. In addition, his team’s won the SWAC Championship three times (2000, 2001 and 2011) and Black College Football National Championship two times (2000 and 2001).