Tom Williams begins his first season as an assistant coach with FIU football in 2013, working with the Panthers’ linebackers.
Williams comes to FIU after spending the 2012 season at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) as a defensive secondary coach, primarily with the Miners' safeties.
Williams brings 20 years of coaching experience to FIU football and is widely known as a top linebackers coach. From 2009-11 he was head coach at Yale, but the majority of his career has been on the defensive side of the ball as a coordinator and linebackers coach.
Williams has coached at the Division I and professional levels, with 16 years of collegiate coaching experience, a two-year stint as defensive assistant for the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and one season with the Fujitsu Frontiers of Japan League Division I.
During his tenure at Yale, Williams guided the Bulldogs to a record of 16-14 over three seasons. In his second year at Yale, he was able to orchestrate a turnaround from 2009 to leading the Bulldogs to an impressive 7-3 campaign from a previous 4-6 record.
As Defensive Assistant and Assistant Special Teams Coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars (2007-09) under Del Rio, Williams created and implemented game planning for all special teams units, punt protection, punt return, kickoff coverage, kickoff return, field goal protection and field goal rush. It was customary that he would teach his players both on the field and in the classroom, so Del Rio had Williams assist with on-field coaching of linebackers and defensive linemen.
Prior to the Jaguars, Williams was the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at San Jose State from 2005-06, helping the defense decrease its points allowed by 21.8 per game in that timeframe. When he first joined Tomey's Spartans they were 2-9 in 2004. By 2006, the program blossomed to 9-4 and defeated New Mexico in the 2006 New Mexico Bowl.
Highlighting the 2006 season at San Jose State was linebacker Matt Castelo. In 2006, Castelo ranked second nationally with 165 total tackles (81 solo stops). He would go on to earn All-WAC honors. In the New Mexico Bowl victory, Castelo led the way with 18 tackles and two forced fumbles while being named Defensive MVP of the bowl. He was named to ESPN.com's all-Bowl team.
Williams returned to his alma mater as a full-time coach from 2002-04, the final season as Buddy Teevens' Associate Head Coach. In addition to his Co-Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach duties, Williams took on a critical role interacting with Stanford's faculty. In that time, the university's Vice Provost appointed Williams to head a campus committee charged with generating general student involvement with athletic activities and enhancing Cardinal student-athlete profiles in the community. Needless to say, Williams was a critical cog between the athletic department, football program and University community-at-large.
Williams served as linebackers coach at the University of Washington (1999-2001) where he helped the Huskies to three consecutive bowl appearances. They won the 2001 Rose Bowl, which capped an 11-1 season. Additionally Williams spent three seasons at Hawaii (1996-98), including one in charge of the defense.
His first professional coaching opportunity came with the Fujitsu Frontiers, an American-style football league based in Japan. He got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Stanford on Bill Walsh's staff (1993-94).
Williams was a four-year varsity letterman at Stanford from 1989-92. The Texas native led a Stanford squad that went 10-3 in 1992 and won a share of the Pac-10 championship, leading the Cardinal to a No. 9 finish in the national polls. During his college years, he would received CoSIDA District 8 Academic All-America honors in 1992; was Team Co-Captain in 1992-93; Academic All-Pac-10 in 1991; recipient of the a NACDA Post-Graduate Scholarship in 1993. He would receive an invitation to the San Francisco 49ers camp after college.
He attended Trinity Valley College Prep in Fort Worth, where he earned all-state honors in football, basketball and baseball. Williams graduated from Stanford in 1992 with honors and earned his master's degree from the school in 1995.