The Washington Commanders announced Wednesday the creation of the Doug Williams Diversity Coaching Fellowship, which aims to provide the team with access to coaches from historically Black colleges and universities while allowing applicants the chance to advance their careers as they learn and grow with an NFL coaching staff.
The fellowship is named after former Washington quarterback Doug Williams, who led the team to victory in Super Bowl XXII as the first African American to do so. He has served as a senior vice president for both player personnel and player development for the Washington team.
Williams, who served as the head football coach at his alma mater Grambling State University in Louisiana from 2011-2013, is now a senior adviser to Commanders President Jason Wright.
The Doug Williams Fellow will be an offensive assistant working with the head coach, offensive coordinator, and the quarterbacks’ coach. The fellow will work with offensive staff in assisting in film breakdown, game planning, and coaching the scouting team.
Williams will be part of the selection committee, as will Commanders head coach Ron Rivera.
“I have always said that fostering opportunities for young coaches of color is what we need to do in order to correct the issues we have been seeing with the hiring cycles in the league,” Rivera said in a statement. “We are excited to announce the Doug Williams Diversity Coaching Fellowship which will help us continue to grow as an organization and help foster young coaching talent to set them up for success in their careers. There is no better man to honor with the naming of this fellowship than the great Doug Williams who is a trailblazer in the NFL and has represented this organization with class for many years.”