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J.D. Williams
Position: Assistant Coach-Defensive Backs/Special Teams
Phone: 404.413.4111
Email: jwilliams294@gsu.edu
Feature Story: Falling Into Football

J.D. Williams, who combines 17 years of college coaching experience with a successful career in the National Football League, enters his second season at Georgia State as the secondary coach and special teams coordinator on head coach Trent Miles’ staff.


In 2013, the GSU special teams featured all-conference return specialist Albert Wilson, who ranked in the top five in the Sun Belt Conference in both punt returns and kickoff returns.

Williams, a former first-round NFL draft pick who was a member of four Super Bowl teams with the Buffalo Bills, came to Georgia State in 2013 after three seasons on the defensive staff at UNLV. He also has seven years of experience in the Pac-10 (now the Pac-12) and previously worked with Miles at both Washington and Fresno State.

At UNLV, Williams served two seasons (2010-11) as the Running' Rebels' assistant head coach, secondary coach and pass defense coordinator before he was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2012, when he continued to coach the defensive backs.

Williams went to UNLV after spending the 2009 season as the cornerbacks coach at Utah. The Utes posted a 10-3 record, including a victory over Washington in the Poinsettia Bowl, and ranked 16th in the nation in passing yards allowed and ninth in pass efficiency defense.

That followed three seasons at Washington (2006-08) and four seasons at California (2002-05). At Washington, he worked on the same staff with Miles his first two years there. During his tenure at California, Williams helped the Golden Bears to a 33-17 overall record and three bowl game appearances.

Williams moved into coaching in 1997 after his NFL playing career, beginning as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Fresno State, where Miles was on the coaching staff. He then coached the secondary at San Jose State in 1998 and Cal Poly in 1999 before returning to Fresno State as secondary coach for two seasons (2000-01). He helped the Bulldogs to an 18-7 record and a pair of bowl berths in those two seasons.

After a standout playing career at Fresno State, Williams was a first round NFL Draft pick in 1990, going to the Buffalo Bills with the 16th selection. He went on to play on the Bills' four Super Bowl teams following the 1990-93 seasons, including Super Bowl XXVIII at the Georgia Dome. He also played for the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers before his six-year pro career ended after the 1996 season.

Williams, from Coalinga, Calif., earned his bachelor's degree in criminology from Fresno State in 1997. He and his wife, Jamie, have four children: Nicole, Kyra, Zoe and David.

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