Grambling State fires Doug Williams

GRAMBLING, La. -- Grambling State fired coach Doug Williams on Wednesday after the Tigers (who were 1-10 last season) lost their first two games by a combined score of 71-19.

The university said it bought out the remainder of the former NFL quarterback's contract.

"We recognize Doug Williams' many contributions to our football legacy, and we express our deep appreciation for his service to Grambling State University, and we wish him well in the future," Grambling president Frank Pogue said in a statement.

Running backs coach George Ragsdale takes over as interim coach.

Williams told The (Monroe, La.) News-Star that Pogue informed him of his firing during a meeting in the president's office Wednesday morning.

"There wasn't a lot of conversation. I told him, 'OK,' and I was gone," said Williams, 58, who was the MVP of Super Bowl XXII.

Grambling was 0-9 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference last season. The Tigers lost their 2013 opener to Alabama A&M 23-9 and were dominated by Louisiana-Monroe 48-10 last weekend.

Williams, who led the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl win over John Elway and the Denver Broncos in 1988, first became Grambling's coach in 1998. In 2004, he moved into a front-office job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He returned to Grambling as coach in 2011, when he led the Tigers to a SWAC championship.

The university said in its statement that it decided to "move in another direction" in ending Williams' contract, which ran through next season.

Williams' son, junior D.J. Williams, is a quarterback on the team.

"I know D.J. is emotional, but I told him he has to be strong, and he told me he will," Doug Williams told The News-Star. "That's all I need for him to be strong. If he's strong, his daddy is going to be all right."

Williams played at Grambling State and was a first-round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 1978. He played for Tampa Bay until 1982, when he went to the fledgling United States Football League.

He joined the Redskins in 1986.

Ragsdale also played in the NFL for the Redskins and Buccaneers.