Grambling State fires Doug Williams as coach

Grambling State University fired Doug Williams on Wednesday from his second stint as the team's head football coach.

The Tigers have lost 12 of 13 games, including the first two games this season, since they won the 2011 Southwestern Athletic Conference title in Williams' first season back at his alma mater.

Grambling State announced in a statement that it has moved in another direction, buying out the remainder of Williams' contract. Running backs coach George Ragsdale was named the team's interim head coach.

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

Williams, 58, told the News Star in Monroe, La., that he was called into Pogue's office Wednesday morning, handed a letter and fired as coach.

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

Williams agreed to a new three-year contract in June 2012 that paid him $250,000 a year. He and Grambling State were at odds two months earlier when he filed a suit that claimed the university reneged on portions of the coaching staff's contract. The coaches later received bonuses.

Williams played quarterback under legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson during the mid-1970s. He succeeded Robinson as head coach for six seasons from 1998-2003 before returning in 2011.

Williams had a 61-34 record in nine seasons, winning four SWAC titles.

During a nine-year NFL career, he was the first African-American quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl title, earning MVP honors of the Washington Redskins' Super Bowl XXII win in 1987. He also played two years in the USFL.

Williams' son D.J., a junior, is Grambling State's starting quarterback. He is expected to remain a member of the team.

The Tigers (0-2) next play Saturday against Lincoln (Mo.) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.