Grambling State University football head coach Doug Williams said he was fired from his post on Wednesday morning after being summoned to the school president's office and handed a letter that said the program wants to head in a different direction.
In a report from The (Monroe, La.) News-Star, Williams said he received the call at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, went to President Frank Pogue's office for a brief conversation and then left:
"There wasn't a lot of conversation. I told him 'OK' and I was gone."
The news marks an end to Williams' second stint as head coach of the Tigers. He first took over the team in 1997 after Eddie Robinson retired and took the school to three Southwestern Athletic conference titles. After the 2003 season, he left Grambling to become a personnel executive with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He returned to the Tigers in 2011 and won another SWAC title, but then his team dropped to 1-10 last season and was 0-2 before his departure, including a 48-10 drubbing from FBS program Louisiana-Monroe. Williams leaves Grambling with an overall record of 62-33.
Williams played for seven years in the NFL, first with the Bucs from 1978-82 and then with the Redskins '86-89. In 1988, as a quarterback with Washington, he was named Super Bowl XXII MVP.
Williams, whose son, D.J., started at quarterback for the Tigers in both games this season, said he has to live with the president's decision and urged his son to remain "strong" despite news of his departure on Wednesday.
"He's the president and he has the power. Whatever decision he makes, we have to live with it because that's his decision....I talked to D.J. briefly. I know D.J. is emotional, but I told him he has to be strong and he told me he will. That's all I need for him to be strong. If he's strong, his daddy is going to be all right."
The Tigers play Division II Lincoln on Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.