Rodriguez Hires Donte Williams to Defensive Staff

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TUCSON, Ariz. – University of Arizona head football coach Rich Rodriguez announced Sunday the hiring of San Jose State secondary coach and esteemed recruiting coordinator Donté Williams to the Wildcat staff as a defensive assistant.

“I am excited to bring Coach Williams on staff here at Arizona,” Rodriguez said. “He is a bright, young coach that is an outstanding evaluator of talent and someone who has shown he can develop players. He will bring an energy on and off the field that will have an immediate impact on our program.”

Williams joins the Arizona coaching staff after three seasons at San Jose State, including the final two when he served as the secondary coach and recruiting coordinator. Under his tutelage, the Spartans boasted one of the nation’s top pass defenses, including the best mark in all of FBS in 2014 (117.8 yards per game), which was followed up by a No. 2 finish in 2015 (153.6 ypg).

The Spartans’ defense made immediate improvement with Williams, who was promoted from cornerbacks coach to secondary after one year. In his first season overseeing the entire secondary in 2014, San Jose State’s total defense improved 56 spots in the FBS rankings, while passing yards allowed improved 74 spots and passing touchdowns allowed jumped 103 spots.

In addition to his on-field work, Williams has garnered recognition for bolstering San Jose State’s recruiting efforts. In February 2015, Sports Illustrated named Williams a Top 10 recruiter in college football. He was also tabbed the top recruiter in the Mountain West Conference by each of the last two seasons.

Williams joined the Spartans after two seasons as a graduate assistant at the University of Washington working with cornerbacks and linebackers. He was at the University of Nevada as an assistant linebacker coach in 2010.

Williams began his coaching career in 2007 as an assistant coach at Los Angeles Harbor College. He also worked one season each at El Camino College (2008) and Mt. San Antonio College (2009). In 2012, Williams completed a summer coaching internship with the Seattle Seahawks. Prior to the start of the Spartans' 2014 camp, he was a guest coach in the New Era All-Star Game in Japan.

The 2006 Idaho State University graduate played college football at Syracuse in 2003 and Idaho State in 2004 and 2005. Professionally, Williams played two seasons in Arena Football League 2 (AF2) for the Rio Grande Valley Dorados (2007) and Arkansas Twisters (2008). He was a first-team all-league player and a defensive team captain in each of his two seasons.  

Williams is the second defensive assistant hired by Rodriguez this offseason. Previously, Rodriguez promoted football analyst Jahmile Addae to a full-time assistant coaching position.

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