Beaty brings in longtime defensive line coach Jesse Williams
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Third-year Kansas football head coach David Beaty announced Friday afternoon 25-year defensive line veteran Jesse Williams will be responsible for coaching KU’s defensive front.
Williams arrives in Lawrence after leading the defensive line at Ohio for the previous five seasons. Over the last half-decade, Williams coached the Bobcats’ front into a formidable unit, led by 2016 MAC Defensive Player of the Year Tarell Basham, who became the school’s all-time sack leader under Williams’ watch.
“Jesse brings a wealth of technical knowledge that will be extremely valuable in our defensive line room because it all starts with those guys up front, especially in the Big 12 Conference,” Beaty said. “The productivity he has gotten from his players from a run and pass rush standpoint is impressive. His defensive lines have consistently become a unit other teams game plan around because of his ability to find, evaluate and teach the position.”
Williams can’t wait to begin working with one of KU’s deeper position groups as junior defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr., was a consensus All-Big 12 First Team member in 2016, while fellow junior Daniel Wise earned All-Big 12 honors as well.
“I’m extremely excited to be able to work with Coach Beaty and his staff.” Williams said. “I’m looking forward to working with the caliber of a guy like (defensive coordinator) Clint Bowen and the talent that is already in that defensive line room – I can’t help but be excited. I’ve never heard a bad thing about Lawrence and my family and I are extremely grateful for this opportunity.”
The 2016 edition of the Bobcat defense produced 104 tackles-for-loss, manufactured 44-total sacks and held opponents to 104.4 yards rushing per game. Williams’ defensive line broke through blocking schemes for 59.5 TFLs and got to the quarterback 31.5 times.
Along with Basham, Williams helped Casey Sayles Third Team All-MAC honors with 6.0 sacks and 7.5 tackles-for-loss.
In 2014, the Bobcat defense was stout against the run allowing only 132 yards on the ground per game holding their opponents to under 100 yards in six games.
William’s defensive line recorded 12.0 sacks led by Basham’s 5.0 sacks. Basham was named to the All-MAC Third Team.
In 2013, Williams directed a directed a defensive line that accounted for 36 sacks. Ohio’s 36 sacks in 2013 tied for 20th in the country and ranked second in the Mid-American Conference. Eight of Ohio’s 36 sacks in 2013 came in the Bobcats’ league-opener against Akron. The eight sacks registered by Ohio against Akron is tied for second all-time.
In addition to its ability to get to the quarterback, Ohio also featured a strong run defense, which held four opponents to 150-yards or less in a single game.
During the 2013 campaign, Ohio defensive tackle Antwan Crutcher logged a career-best season as he tallied 50 tackles. Senior defensive end Ty Branz also posted a career-best 6.0 sacks before suffering a season-end injury.
Under Williams’ watchful eye, rookie Basham made an immediate impact as he totaled 7.5 sacks, which is tied for fifth all-time for a single season. Following the year, Basham was named to the Football Writer’s Association of American (FWAA) Freshman All-American team. Since the FWAA Freshman All-America team began in 2001, only 16 MAC players have been named to the squad.
In his first season at Ohio, Williams led a defensive line unit that combined for 249 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. In addition, Ohio held opponents to an average of 159.8 yards per game, which ranked sixth in the MAC. The Bobcats limited two of their opponents to less than 100 yards rushing, including Louisiana-Monroe in the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl.
Following the Independence Bowl win, defensive end Tremayne Scott was named to the CBSSports.com All-Bowl team. Scott was the only player from the MAC to be named to the team after he totaled five tackles, two sacks and recorded his first career interception.
Prior to the Bobcats’ fourth straight bowl appearance, defensive tackle Neal Huynh would go to earn All-MAC Third Team honors. Huynh’s all-conference honor was the first of his collegiate career. Following the year, Huynh signed a professional contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
Williams’ first season in Athens also had a tremendous impact on Ohio starters Carl Jones and Corey Hasting as both posted single-season career highs in tackles and tackles for loss, while Huynh posted single-season career bests in sacks and tackles for loss.
Williams came to Athens after spending three years at New Mexico State University.
In 2011, Williams’ defensive scheme led to 18 sacks while the Aggies’ defense ranked second among Western Athletic Conference teams in Red Zone defense.
During his second year at New Mexico State in 2010, Williams oversaw a defensive line that accounted for 213 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 21 tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
In 2009, Williams helped the defensive line account for 12 of the team’s 21 sacks on the season. He coached defensive linemen Donte Savage and Pierre Fils to outstanding seasons. Fils tallied a team-high seven sacks on the season, the most by an Aggie player since 1992. Fils was also ranked No. 4 in the conference in sacks per game. Savage was second on the team in sacks with six, ranking No. 6 in the league in tackles for a loss.
Prior to making the move to Las Cruces, Williams spent one year at Nebraska-Kearney as its defensive line coach.
Williams help guide the UNK defense to 38 sacks on the season, while holding opponents to 292 yards of total offense a game.
A college assistant the past 20 years, all on the defensive side of the ball, Williams has also served as special teams coach on several occasions.
Prior to UNK Williams was the defensive line and ends coach at Colorado State.
Under the direction of head coach Sonny Lubick, Williams helped the Rams become one of the top teams in the Mountain West Conference during his tenure (1999-07) in Fort Collins. Williams coached several standouts while at CSU, including ends Clark Haggans (now with the Arizona Cardinals), Andre Sommersell (1994 NFL draft pick) and Peter Hogan (Outland Trophy candidate).
Prior to CSU, Williams spent time at San Jose State, Eastern Washington (1995-96), Holy Cross (1996-98) and Portland State (1992-95) and Sonoma (1988-92).
Williams, a graduate of Sonoma State (Calif.) and his wife Felicia, have three children, Jessien, Trae and A.J.
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