Ex-Grambling coach Doug Williams hired by his former NFL team _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Grambling State University head coach Doug Williams walks onto the field at the start of the Bayou Classic, held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012. MAGS OUT / INTERNET OUT/ONLINE OUT/NO SALES/TV OUT/FOREIGN OUT/LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC. OUT/GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS REPORT OUT/225 OUT/10/12 OUT/IN REGISTER OUT/LBI CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS OUT/MANDATORY CREDIT THE ADVOCATE/ FIRST LAST NAME.

Former Grambling and NFL quarterback Doug Williams — abruptly fired as the head coach of his alma mater’s football team in September — has a new job in pro football.

He’ll be joining Washington’s front office as a personnel executive, the team announced Monday, according to various national media reports.

The Advocate caught up with Williams at the Senior Bowl in January, and he said he was close to landing another gig in the NFL.

Williams, a first-round draft pick out of Grambling in 1978 for Tampa Bay, quarterbacked Washington to victory over John Elway’s Denver Broncos in the 1988 Super Bowl and became his alma mater’s head coach in 1998. The Zachary native left for a front-office position with Tampa Bay in 2004 and worked there until 2010.

After a stint as a general manager in the United Football League, Williams returned to Grambling in 2011. Grambling finished 8-4 and won the Southwest Athletic Conference in Williams’ first year back.

Grambling went 1-10 in 2012, including an 0-9 record in the SWAC; and it lost its first two games of 2013 by a combined score of 71-19 before dismissing Williams.

“What happened was tragic ... I hated it,” Williams said at the Senior Bowl. “But at the end of the day, I was let go for no cause.

“Everyone I talk to, the first thing they say is, ‘We hate it happened to you, but you need to be here (in the NFL) with us.’ That comes from general managers, head coaches and scouts. So that’s kind of overwhelming.”