EMU football adds defensive line coach

Eastern Michigan University football coach Chris Creighton announced the hiring of Jimmy Williams to his staff Monday.

Williams was named defensive line coach and comes to EMU from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where he served as assistant head coach for the last two seasons.

“Coach Williams is a Godsend. I am so thankful that our paths have crossed and that he is now an Eastern Michigan Eagle,” Creighton said in a news release. “Coach Williams has played and coached at the highest level, but what makes him so special is the reason why he coaches. He is a difference-maker.”

A standout player at the University of Nebraska, Williams spent 12 seasons in the NFL playing for the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since joining the coaching ranks, he has been a part of two teams that participated in the Mid-American Conference Championship game as well as another that advanced to the Division II National Championship game.

Williams recently completed a two-year stint at UAB, where he served as the team’s assistant head coach. During the 2013 campaign, he worked directly with the inside linebackers before also taking over as the defensive coordinator midway through the season. In 2012, Williams coached the UAB defensive line.

He was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 2001 and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from William Tyndale College in Michigan in 1999 while coaching in the high school ranks.

He was the defensive coordinator and coached the linebackers at Pontiac Northern High from 1994 through the 1998 season and was the head coach at Pontiac Central from 1999 to 2000.

Williams has assisted with college football camps at Nebraska, Michigan and Michigan State and served a two-week internship with the Detroit Lions in 2001.

A native of Washington, D.C., Williams played high school football at Woodrow Wilson High School.
He has six children, Brittney, Nia, Faith, Joy, and twins Janell and James III.

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