Former NFL running back Ricky Williams, who retired from the league in 2011, is in talks to coach running backs at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, the school said Thursday in a news release.
The small liberal arts college said that Williams has not been officially hired and still needs to go through the normal vetting process through human resources. But head coach Larry Kennan said he was excited about the possible addition.
"Ricky reached out to me about getting into coaching," Kennan said in a statement. "We have an opening and he is looking to get into coaching so I think it is a good fit. His experience will be a big help to our staff and players and I think he will have a positive effect on our recruiting efforts."
UIW is moving up to the Division I level this year as an independent school. It will join the Southland Conference in 2014.
In 11 seasons with the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens, Williams rushed for more than 10,000 yards and 66 touchdowns. His NFL career was not without controversy, however. He failed four drug tests and was suspended from the NFL for the entire 2006 season.
UIW believes it benefits greatly from becoming a Division I program in the caliber of candidates they will attract, and Williams' interest seems to confirm that belief. More from UIW's news release:
"We knew that the move to Division I would increase the talent pool of candidates for staffing positions as they came available," UIW Athletic Director Mark Papich said in a statement. "When Coach Kennan approached me regarding Ricky as a potential addition to our staff it reinforced what we already believed to be true. The potential to bring someone with the athletic experience of Ricky Williams to work with our student-athletes will enhance their exposure to elite level football."