Williams remains Grambling's head coach

Updated: February 15, 2004, 10:37 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Doug Williams has apparently had a change of heart and has decided to remain at Grambling as the school's football coach instead of joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers front office, a source told ESPN on Saturday.

The decision came after a tearful meeting with the team on Friday. An official announcement is expected on Monday or Tuesday.

On Thursday, the former Super Bowl MVP quit his job at Grambling, his alma mater, to work as a personnel executive for one of his former pro teams, evaluating players and assisting in the recruitment of free agents. He planned to return to the Bucs in time to attend next week's NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Bucs coach Jon Gruden approached Williams last month about working for Tampa Bay. Williams was interested in Gruden's offer, but didn't want to discuss it until after the college football recruiting period ended last week.

The Grambling coach oversaw the signing of more than 20 prospects this month before the Buccaneers finalized their offer.

Williams played for Tampa Bay from 1978-82, leading the team to three playoff berths. A contract dispute led the embittered Williams to leave the Bucs for the USFL. In 1986, Williams signed with the Washington Redskins, who he led to a 42-10 rout of the Denver Broncos in the 1988 Super Bowl. He is the only black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

The former quarterback apparently had looked forward to returning to the Buccaneers, a sign that no rancor for his old team still existed.

Thursday's sudden announcement by their head coach shocked Grambling players, school officials and community members, however.

"It's a big shock, a huge shock," Grambling State spokesman Peter Forest said Thursday. "This is a huge loss to Grambling, no question."

Williams became the second football coach in Grambling State history, replacing Eddie Robinson in 1997. Before that, he was a head coach at Morehouse.

Grambling struggled through four losing seasons before Williams took the helm. He went 52-18 as Grambling coach in the six seasons and coached the Tigers to three Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.

Grambling was on track to win a fourth straight title this season until they were derailed by Southern in the Bayou Classic, ending the Tigers' season a game short of the SWAC title game.

The former quarterback also worked as a scout for the Jacksonville Jaguars and coached at Zachary, La., Northeast High School and Navy.

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