Grambling State University and Hue Jackson turned heads recently with the hiring of former Baylor head coach Art Briles as its offensive coordinator. The controversial hire did not sit well with Doug Williams, a former Grambling coach and quarterback. Williams said he will no longer support the football program in an interview with the Washington Post.
“I don’t know Art Briles; I’ve never met him in my life,” Williams said. “But the situation, nobody else would hire him for whatever reason. I don’t know why Grambling State had to go be the one to hire him, so I’m not a fan at all.”
Williams went on to say he can’t support Grambling football moving forward, “Oh, no. I can’t do that. No, no, no. If I support them, I condone it.”
Briles denies conclusion of report
Briles, widely considered a brilliant offensive mind, was fired by Baylor University in May 2016. The firing was the result of an external investigation surrounding accusations of sexual assault involving 19 football players. The report concluded that school and football administrators failed to properly handle those allegations. In total 17 women reported incidents of sexual assault or sexual violence. The report states that Briles was informed of at least one incident and failed to report it to local authorities, along with other administrators.
Briles on the other hand tells a different story. He wrote the following in an open letter in 2017.
“Let me be clear: I did not cover up any sexual violence,” he wrote. “I had no contact with anyone that claimed to be a victim of sexual or domestic assault. Anyone well-versed in my work as a coach knows that I strove to promote excellence, but never at the sacrifice of safety for anyone.”
Up and down history between Grambling and Williams
The relationship between Williams and Grambling has survived many ups and downs over the years. Williams took over the program from the legendary Eddie Robinson and won three SWAC Championships before leaving to join the Tampa Bay front office.
Williams returned to Grambling for a second stint in 2011, going on to win a fourth SWAC Championship. But the school fired him in 2013 after the program severely slumped. In recent years the University has launched the Doug Williams Center for the study of race and politics in sports. In 2019 Grambling named a street in the honor of Williams on its campus.
Williams is currently senior advisor to the team president for the Washington Commanders in the NFL.