Brian Williams recognized among top coordinators with rising stock heading into 2023

Maryland’s defense took major strides in the first season under Brian Williams as the defensive coordinator, allowing among the fewest points in the second half in the country. Heading into the fall, Maryland welcomes several key pieces back its defense, but the gradual ascension within the program has led to Brian Williams gaining national attention. On Thursday, Wiliams was named one of twelve coordinators with rising stock from teams outside the top-15.

Williams, who has been a candidate for jobs at top places such as Georgia in recent years, was behind Maryland taking a step forward defensively last season. In his first season as the Terrapins’ defensive coordinator, Williams led the way as Maryland allowed its fewest points per game since 2010 and its fewest rushing yards and total yards since 2012. Williams’ defense didn’t allow a single touchdown in either of the Terrapins’ final two games, a 37-0 win over Rutgers in the regular season finale and a 16-12 victory over NC State in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

Before being promoted to defensive coordinator, Williams was on Maryland’s staff as an outside linebackers coach (2019) and defensive line coach (2020-21). He was the Terrapins’ co-defensive coordinator in 2021 and ended up serving as the team’s defensive play-caller the final two games of that season before then being promoted to DC in February 2022. Prior to Maryland, Williams was a linebackers coach at UAB (2016-18), a player relations coordinator at Georgia (2015) and an analyst at Florida State (2013-14). 

Whether it’s from local coaches, his colleagues, or his players, Williams has drawn praise ever since he joined the program upon Mike Locksley’s arrival as the Florida native has become a force on Maryland’s staff. In addition to his in-game development and progression as Maryland’s defensive coordinator, Williams has helped the program stockpile talent as the lead recruiter for guys like Ruben Hyppolite, Taizse Johnson, Tommy Akingbesote and Perry Fisher. Williams is also the primary recruiter for a few of Maryland’s current commits, such as Spalding three-star Keyshawn Flowers, but now he’ll shift his attention toward finalizing a defense with high expectations heading into next weekend’s season opener.

The familiarity with the scheme led by several returning pieces has led to quiet confidence in Maryland’s defense heading into the season.

“I think it’s really, really big, really important, especially on the back end on defense that those guys have those short-term memories where when something bad happens, they keep playing and even when they make plays, they just continue to get to the next play,” Locksley added. “I thought we did a really good job of that a year ago. I thought the defensive staff led by coach Williams really made that a point of emphasis and I saw that really help us.”

Maryland has had to work to keep Williams after drawing interest from programs like Florida State, Georgia and Miami in years past as the Florida native “epitomizes” what Mike Locksley’s program is about.

“He’s a guy that’s been here to see the trajectory of our program change and has played a major role in helping us get to where we are today. And again, I still think his best football is still ahead of him as he’s become more comfortable and really helped himself on the back end with surrounding him with some great coaches. Those things really played a major role. I think he’s one of the shining stars in this profession and will very soon have an opportunity to hopefully run his own program.”

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