Williams joins Husky staff

When his brother Curtis suffered a neck injury that made him a quadriplegic before eventually taking his life, J.D. Williams was by his side at Stanford Medical Center when he had a chance meeting with then-Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham. Four years later, he's decided to cast his lot with Willingham and a rebuilding Husky football program.

"This was a quick thing," Williams told Dawgman.com. "I wasn't aware that the University of Washington even had a position available, but I guess coach Willingham contacted coach (Jeff) Tedford less than a week ago and that is when I got notice of it.

"It's was a good opportunity to come to the University of Washington and I saw the opportunity and took advantage of it. I know Tyrone is an influential guy and he's got good members on his staff. We had that at Cal, but I just saw it as a different opportunity and decided to take advantage of that."

Williams has been the defensive backs coach for the California Golden Bears for the past five seasons and one of his secondaries was responsible for one of the worst receiving days by former Husky wide receiver and future first-round draft choice Reggie Williams.

"I tell them to play fast, play smart and play hard," Williams said about his philosophy. "I know kids are going to make mistakes, but if they make them full speed then we have a chance.

"Being physical is a part of it and in the past I've had physical secondaries and I've been pleased with that. Mostly my guys will play really smart and really hard all the time."

Even though his players are tough and physical, you won't see Williams out there yelling and cursing at them.

"You can't be a yeller and screamer, because kids pretty much tune you out if you do that," Williams said with a chuckle. "I'm more of a mentor-type, where you can sit down and really correct what's wrong rather than yelling and screaming.

"There are times when you need to raise your voice, but you have to do that in a positive way."

Positive is an effect anyone associated with the Washington Athletic Department would say his brother Curtis had on anyone he met with and J.D. said he wasn't immune from his younger brother's influence.

"It was good up there the last couple years playing and it's always seemed like a very special place when I go there," Williams remembered. "With the opportunity to come back there and play there he must have been working for me there.

"It's good to be (at Washington). I'm excited to get things going and we're going to try and stay undefeated on that field there."

No matter what, his brother Curtis will be in his thoughts and J.D. will be smiling.

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