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Richard Williamson
Wide Receivers


An original member of the Panthers coaching staff in 1995, Richard Williamson has made a career of getting the best out of his players.

With relative stability at quarterback in 2008, Steve Smith reached the Pro Bowl for the third time in four seasons under Williamson's tutelage, posting 1,421 receiving yards - the second most in team history - and setting a team record with an average of 18.2-yards per catch. That followed a 2007 campaign in which Williamson coached Smith to more than 1,000 yards receiving despite playing with four different starting quarterbacks.

Under Williamson, Smith led the NFL in receiving yards in 2005 and tied for the League lead in receptions and touchdown catches. It was a signature season for the young receiver but just another milestone for his veteran coach. Williamson has made a habit of coaxing receivers to new heights while establishing himself as one of the best and most valuable assistants in the NFL.

Three different Panthers head coaches have benefited from Williamson's expertise, while player after player has experienced his most productive seasons under his guidance. Smith's performance of 103 catches and 1,563 receiving yards in 2005 broke the team records of Muhsin Muhammad, who had established club marks for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches in 2004.

Five different players, Muhammad, Smith, Patrick Jeffers, Raghib Ismail and Mark Carrier, have recorded 1,000-yard receiving seasons under Williamson. In 1999, the Panthers had two 1,000-yard receivers when Jeffers joined Muhammad among the League's receiving leaders. Muhammad was named to the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 1999 after tying for the NFL lead with a then team-record 102 receptions. In 1998, Ismail produced career highs with 69 receptions and 1,024 receiving yards. In 1995, Carrier's 1,002 receiving yards established an expansion record.

Twelve of Williamson's 14 seasons at Carolina have been spent as wide receivers coach. For most of the 2000 season and all of 2001, Williamson also served as offensive coordinator. But with the arrival of John Fox in 2002, he returned "home" as wide receivers coach.

Described by former Panthers wide receiver Willie Green, who compiled a career-high 882 receiving yards in 1995, as "the best coach I have ever had," Williamson's record of success reinforces Green's belief. Before arriving in Carolina, Williamson oversaw the development of Carl Pickens and Darnay Scott at Cincinnati. At Tampa Bay, two of his players, Bruce Hill in 1988 and Carrier in 1989, were named the Buccaneers most valuable player. With Kansas City, Williamson coached Stephon Paige when he set an NFL single-game record with 305 yards receiving.

Williamson joined the Panthers in 1995 from Cincinnati, where he was receivers coach from 1992-94. He previously coached five years at Tampa Bay, serving as receivers coach for four seasons before being elevated to head coach for the last three games of 1990 and the entire 1991 season. He entered the NFL in 1983 as a coach with Kansas City.

As a college coach, Williamson was head coach at Memphis State from 1975-80, where he twice was named Southern Independent Conference Coach of the Year. Before his post with the Tigers, he served as an assistant at Arkansas and spent seven years as an assistant to the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant at Alabama.

Playing and Personal
Williamson played wide receiver for Bryant's Crimson Tide in 1961 and 1962 before joining Alabama's coaching staff. A native of Fort Deposit, AL, Williamson and his wife, Norma, have two grown children, a son, Rich, and a daughter, Caroline. The Williamsons live in Charlotte.

Receiver Alabama 1961-62. College coach: Alabama 1963-67, 1970-71, Arkansas 1968-69, 1972-74, Memphis State 1975-80 (head coach). Pro coach: Kansas City Chiefs 1983-86, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1987-91 (interim head coach final three games of 1990, head coach 1991), Cincinnati Bengals 1992-94, joined Panthers in 1995.


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