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Doug Williams fired as Grambling coach

Grambling dumps former NFL quarterback Doug Williams after an 0-2 start that followed a 1-10 season.

Former Grambling State head coach Doug Williams. (LM Otero/AP)
Former Grambling State head coach Doug Williams. (LM Otero/AP)Read more

GRAMBLING STATE fired coach Doug Williams yesterday after the Tigers lost the first two games.

The university announced it bought out the remainder of the former NFL quarterback's contract. Running backs coach George Ragsdale is taking over as interim head coach.

Grambling had a 1-10 record in 2012 - including going 0-9 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference - under the 58-year-old Williams. Grambling lost its opener to Alabama State, 23-9, and was dominated by Louisiana-Monroe last weekend, 48-10.

Williams, who led the Washington Redskins to a win over the John Elway-quarterbacked Denver Broncos in the 1988 Super Bowl, became Grambling's coach in 1998. Then in 2004 he moved to a front-office job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He returned to Grambling as head coach in 2011, when he led the Tigers to a SWAC championship.

The university said in a statement that it decided to "move in another direction" in ending Williams' contract, which ran through next season.

"We recognize Doug Williams' many contributions to our football legacy, and we express our deep appreciation for his service to Grambling State University and we wish him well in the future," Grambling president Frank Pogue said in the statement.

Williams told the (Monroe, La.) News-Star that Pogue informed him of his firing during a meeting in the president's office.

"There wasn't a lot of conversation. I told him, 'OK,' and I was gone," Williams said.

Williams' son, D.J., is a quarterback on the team.

"I know D.J. is emotional, but I told him he has to be strong and he told me he will," Doug Williams told the newspaper. "That's all I need for him to be strong. If he's strong, his daddy is going to be all right."

Williams quarterbacked Grambling State. He was a first-round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 1978 and played for Tampa until 1982, when he went to the startup USFL.

He joined the Redskins in 1986.


Sports Illustrated reported that more than a dozen Oklahoma State football players admitted to academic misconduct over the past decade. The magazine said the players described receiving exam answers in advance, passing classes for little or no work and using tutors who completed work for them.

The article was the second of five planned by SI looking at alleged misconduct in the Oklahoma State football program dating to 2001 under coaches Les Miles and Mike Gundy. Oklahoma State said it has notified the NCAA about the allegations and launched its own investigation.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden called the magazine's allegations "comical" and said one of the magazine's reporters has an agenda against the school.

* Texas coach Mack Brown said quarterback David Ash remains questionable for Saturday's game against No. 25 Mississippi after head and shoulder injuries last week against BYU. If Ash can't play, the Longhorns will start senior Case McCoy with freshman Tyrone Swoopes as the top backup. McCoy has six career starts.