SALISBURY – Daryl Williams, a former standout football player at Tennessee State University who in just one season has brought pride back to Livingstone College football, was named Head Football Coach on Monday by Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. Williams, who joined the Blue Bears staff in 2012 as offensive coordinator, had been interim coach since the start of the 2013 football season.
“We have had an opportunity to observe Coach Williams as offensive coordinator and as interim head coach, and we have been thoroughly impressed with his integrity and his focus on the development of student-athletes,” Jenkins said. “The performance of the football team this season, under his leadership as interim coach, has been admirable in spite of what the win-loss record suggests.
To support his continued momentum, we believe it both appropriate and necessary to remove the questionable status of interim head coach. With the interim status removed, we are reassuring his current players and those that he might recruit, that we are confident in his abilities and he will be their coach next year. ”
Under Williams’ tenure this year, the Blue Bears are 2-7, having defeated Edwards Waters College on their home turf 23-20 and Lincoln University the following week by a convincing 35-7 margin. Although the Blue Bears haven’t had the season they had hoped for, the team has made remarkable progress from previous seasons. In fact, of the Blue Bears losses, two games were decided by a single touchdown in the closing minutes of the game and another slipped away in heartbreaking fashion after the opponent kicked a last-minute field goal.
For example, when Livingstone hosted Fayetteville State University for Homecoming on Nov. 2, the team demonstrated a new character both defensively and offensively. Before facing Livingstone, FSU had handily defeated Saint Augustine’s University and other CIAA opponents and entered the contest at 5-3; yet they barely escaped defeat in the last two minutes of the game after the Blue Bears fumbled and turned the ball over to them deep in their own territory.
Williams is painfully aware of the tough losses his squad has suffered, but he knows how to win and is determined to continue the process of maintaining high standards both off and on the playing field. During weekly assemblies he requires his players to sit as a team, dressed neatly in white dress shirts and black slacks. It’s important to Williams that his players remember they’re in school to obtain a college degree.
“I’m very excited and grateful that Dr. Jenkins and Athletic Director Andre Springs had enough faith and confidence in the process and program I’m establishing here to name me the head football coach,” Williams said. “Knowing I’m going to be the head coach moving forward helps with the players we have now and also makes a huge difference with respect to recruiting, the lifeline of any collegiate program. It also lets the coaches know that we’re going to be here to help elevate Livingstone College football. Our goal is to continue the process and have each player buy into our system. I’m very grateful to the players and coaches for never wavering when I became interim coach and for following the plan and process as though I was already the head coach, which has made implementing the system much easier.”
Before joining the Livingstone coaching staff in 2012, Williams was the associate head coach and quarterbacks coach at Texas Southern University from 2007-2011. In 2010, he helped guide Texas Southern to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship and the SWAC Western Division Championship.
From 2001-2007, Williams played an instrumental role in the Alabama State University football program, where he served as the co-offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and director of football operations. During Williams’ tenure at ASU, he helped lead the institution to a SWAC Championship in 2004 and to three SWAC Eastern Division Championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004, respectively. Under Williams’ leadership, the Hornets’ offense led the SWAC.
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Williams began his coaching career as an assistant football coach at his alma mater, Westwood High School, where he played quarterback and broke several records for the Longhorns. Later, he became head coach at Northside High School, where he also taught physical education.
Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation from Tennessee State University in 1996. He played football at Tennessee State, being named MVP at the 1993 Southern Heritage Classic, and he was selected to the Ohio Valley Conference All-Conference Team in 1994. In 1994 and 1995, Williams was named MVP at the 100 Black Men of America Classic, played in The Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Williams earned his master’s degree in counseling from Alabama State University in 2004. That same year he interned with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. During his summer with the Titans, Williams worked with the quarterbacks, most notably former Pro-Bowler Steve McNair.
“Coach Williams has shown he can lead the team in the right direction, and he demonstrates great leadership,” said Athletics Director Andre Springs. “Last year he did a great job as the offensive coordinator, and that’s why we gave him the opportunity to serve as interim head coach. This season he brought in a good coaching staff that gave great balance to the team and the program. His efforts have shown promise and an ability to get our program to the next level.”