On March 1st, Williams will officially begin his second tenure as head coach at one of the most respected football programs in the nation and I can’t say that I’m surprised by the mixed reaction from Gramblinites worldwide. Ironically, the majority of these so-called fans rarely make any major contribution to the university in the first place.
Let’s be honest for a second. If you’re truly about winning, then why shouldn’t you be excited about this move?
Williams coached at Grambling for six seasons and won three SWAC Titles.
In 2000, GSU finished 10-2 and captured the first of its three consecutive SWAC Titles.
While Williams’ 1-5 record in the Bayou Classic is as impressive as a 2.0 in grad school, Grambling is all about winning championships. Aren’t we?
If we are truly about winning championship then where was all the complaining about former coach Rod Broadway’s teams?
Many didn’t have much to say about Grambling winning one championship in 4 seasons.
What about the fact that the Tigers haven’t had a player selected in the NFL Draft since 2006?
Finally, how about the fact that Grambling lost to Prairie View in 2009 for the first time in more than 20 years?
Many were OK with how far the football program had fallen because the Tigers won three out of four Bayou Classics.
It seems as if this once proud program has been defined by whether or not they defeated Southern, a team who has a combined 22-23 over the last four seasons.
So if Grambling is truly the place where we develop champions, then why should the Grambling fan base have mixed feelings on Doug’s return?
It’s simple, because some still have a bad taste in their mouth from how he departed the first time.
However, my message to you is PLEASE GET OVER IT.
Many of you would have left and never looked back under similar circumstances.
How do I know? The majority of you have already done so.
If you hadn’t, Northeastern Louisiana would be flooded with Gramblinites from all over the country.
When the truth of the matter is, many graduates leave and only return to the university once a year, if that.
The majority of graduates aren’t returning and giving back to the university that gave so much to them.
However, for some odd reason, these same graduates have the audacity to judge someone who left and never stopped giving or getting others to give. Someone please explain your rationale to me!
Anyone remember the $1 million that Williams was able to get donated by Hugh Culverhouse Jr.? No? I didn’t think so.
In a time in which Grambling’s athletic department has been hit extremely hard with budget cuts, you would think that the Grambling faithful would understand the importance of Doug Williams as the face of its most recognizable athletic program.
“Grambling has been good for me and I hope that I’ve been good for Grambling,” Williams said after resigning in 2004.
Maybe it’s me, but I don’t believe anyone can make an argument that those words still don’t ring true in 2011.
Some are fearful that his sole purpose in returning is to coach his son and leave once DJ Williams’ eligibility is up.
However, unless many of you know something that the rest of the world doesn’t know, his son committed to play for another coach who recruited him.
To all Grambling fans worldwide this is a moment to unite and stand strong.
During a time in which there are so many reasons to rejoice, many have found reasons to doubt someone who has done far more good for the university than any of you can say you ever have.
Many have pointed to the fact that Williams hasn’t coached in seven years and will have to recruit under stricter admission policies than he did in his first stint as the Tigers coach.
My challenge for you is to offer a bigger name in HBCU football than Doug Williams.
Yes, it will take more than a big name to return Grambling back to where it once was as the top program in HBCU football.
However, Williams has won before and hasn’t shown any reason to doubt that he won’t win again.
Nicholas Love is a Grambling graduate from Detroit.