After recently departing the front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Doug Williams has now found a new home. On Tuesday it was announced that Williams will serve as the general manger of United Football League’s new expansion team in Norfolk, Va.
“For me, it’d be a blessing,” Williams, MVP of Super Bowl XXII with the Washington Redskins, told the Newport News’ Daily Press. “The only thing I’d ask for is for the community to come and support their team.”
The new team in Norfolk still is without a name, but with Williams running the show at general manager, the team can expect to bring in some great talent and compete early on in the UFL. The Norfolk team will begin play in 2011.
The league says it hopes to expand to up to 14 teams. The Omaha Nighthawks will debut in the UFL’s second season this fall, joining the Florida Tuskers, Hartford Colonials, Las Vegas Locomotives and Sacramento Mountain Lions.
The UFL granted Virginia businessman Jim Speros the expansion franchise. In 1995, Speros owned the Baltimore Stallions, the only U.S.-based team to win a Canadian Football League Grey Cup.
“I am very fortunate to be able to bring a pro football team to the state of Virginia and especially to the Tidewater region,” Speros said in a statement. “There is already a lot of football history in this area and I believe Norfolk will become the shining star of the United Football League.”
“We are delighted to welcome Norfolk, Va., and the Tidewater region as our sixth city and are excited to have a successful team owner in Jim Speros and a proven winner in Doug Williams on board to lead the team,” UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue said in a statement.
Williams first joined the Bucs as a first-round draft choice out of Grambling in 1978, and went on to lead them to their first three playoff appearances, in 1979, 1981 and 1982. He spent two years with the Outlaws, who moved to Arizona in 1985, but returned to the NFL when the USFL folded in 1986, joining the Redskins at the behest of Gibbs, a former Bucs offensive coordinator.
Williams first served the Redskins as a backup to quarterback Jay Schroeder, but took over as the starter at the end of the 1987 season and went on to lead the Redskins over Denver in the Super Bowl.
He retired as a player following the 1989 season and began his college head coaching career in 1997 at Morehouse College. A year later he replaced the legendary Eddie Robinson as the head coach at Grambling, where he led the Tigers to three straight Southwest Atlantic Conference titles.