March 21, 2006
SEATTLE - Washington head football coach Tyrone Willingham announced today that J.D. Williams has been hired as the Huskies' new secondary coach.
Williams, who will turn 39 later this month, comes to the UW after having spent the last four seasons as the secondary coach at California. He has also served as an assistant football coach at Fresno State, San Jose State and Cal Poly.
"It is exciting for the Husky program to add a coach with the level of expertise that we have in Coach Williams," Willingham said. "He has shown himself to be a proven player and coach and he will add great energy and integrity to our coaching staff."
Williams replaces Steven Wilks, who left the UW to take a job with the NFL's Chicago Bears.
During his tenure at California, Williams helped the Golden Bears to a 33-17 overall record and three bowl-game appearances. Last year, Cal led the Pac-10 in pass efficiency defense (24th in the nation) and scoring defense and was second in the conference in total defense. Under his tutelage, cornerback Daymeion Hughes earned first-team All-Pac-10 after finishing first in the conference in passes defended and second in interceptions. Safety Donnie McCleskey (second team) and corner Tim Mixon (honorable mention) also garnered All-Pac-10 honors.
In 2004, Cal ranked second in the Pac-10 in scoring defense and third in total defense.
Prior to going to Berkeley, Williams served two seasons as secondary coach at his alma mater, Fresno State (2000-2001). In those two seasons, Fresno State posted an 18-7 record and made two bowl appearances. Williams also began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Fresno State in 1997. In 1998, he coached at Cal Poly and in 1999, at San Jose State, mentoring the secondary in both cases.
Williams was a NFL first-round draft choice out of Fresno State in 1990, going to the Buffalo Bills with the 16th pick. He played in four Super Bowls with the Bills and also played for the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers. At Fresno State, he was a two-time All-Big West first-team selection and was a second-team All-America cornerback as a senior. The defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Game following his senior year, he was also a standout triple jumper and sprinter on the track team. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in criminology from Fresno State in 1990.
Williams is an older brother of Curtis Williams, the former Husky safety who passed away in 2002 due to complications from injuries suffered in a 2000 game at Stanford.
Born in Osceola, Ark., Williams grew up in Coalinga, Calif. He and his wife Jamie, have three daughters, Nicole, Kyra and Zoe.