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HBCU Black History Month

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On January 31st, 1988 Doug Williams made history. But before that historic day, Williams was already a history-maker.

One of the greatest HBCU athletes of all time, Doug Williams career started as a Freshman at Grambling State University under legendary head coach Eddie Robinson. Williams was a four-year starter for GSU, leading the Tigers to a 36-7 record, three Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) titles and was awarded the Black College Player of the Year twice.

1977 Williams finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting after a history-making season. Williams led the NCAA in passing yards and touchdowns. While this was the end of an amazing college career, this was just the beginning for Williams.

On the advice of their offensive coordinator, Joe Gibbs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Williams with the 17th pick in the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft. Williams became the first Black Quarterback taken in the first round. As the starter in 1979, Williams led the Bucs, who had won only 2 games in their first two seasons, to a 10-6 record and becoming the first Black quarterback to start in the league championship game, the NFC title game versus the Los Angeles Rams.

However, after a pay dispute, Williams headed to the newly formed USFL.

After the USFL folded in 1986, Williams returned to the NFL and signed with the Washington Washington Football Team. The next year, after an injury to starter Jay Schroder, Williams took over the job defeating Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings on the road to Super Bowl 22 against highly touted Quarterback John Elway and the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos, making a repeat appearance in the title game was favored to win the Super Bowl mainly because of Elway. In fact, the game started out well for the Broncos and an injury forced Williams out of the game in the first quarter. Down 10-0 at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, Williams and the Washington Football Team put on a show for the ages. Williams completed 9 of 11 passes for 228 yards and the Skins scored 35 points, leading the way to a 42-10 win At Super Bowl XXII in San Diego.

Williams finished the game throwing 18/29 for 340 yards passing and four touchdowns, named MVP and becoming the first Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.

Since his retirement, Williams has gone back to his HBCU roots on many occasions. In 1997, Williams was the head coach of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia before returning to his Alma Mater Grambling State,  succeeding his former head coach Eddie Robinson from 1998 until 2013 then returning from 2011 to 2013. William has been a scout and executive, currently serving as the Senior vice president of player development for the Washington Washington Football Team. His career highlights include:

80 Greatest Washington Football Team

Washington Washington Football Team Ring of Fame

Tampa Stadium Krewe of Honor

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor

College Football Hall of Fame inductee (2001)

RELATED: Black History Month HBCU Spotlight: Earl “The Pearl” Monroe [Video]

Black History Month HBCU Spotlight: Doug Williams [Video]  was originally published on