🏈 News/Notes Jesse Williams hired a DL coach

Chris Harmon

ITS Publisher
Aug 15, 2002
Tulsa, OK
Tulsa Football Names Jesse Williams Defensive Line Coach

TULSA, Okla. ––
A college coaching veteran of 32 years, Jesse Williams was named defensive line coach at The University of Tulsa today, it was announced by Head Coach Philip Montgomery.

Williams has coached the defensive line for all 32 of those seasons. He started his career at his alma mater, Sonoma State, in 1988, and has also coaches at Portland State, Eastern Washington, Holy Cross, San Jose State, Colorado State, Nebraska-Kearney, New Mexico State, Ohio, Kansas and his most recent stint at Eastern Kentucky.

Williams comes to Tulsa after spending the 2019 season at Eastern Kentucky. He coached FCS first-team All-American and Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Patrick in 2019. Williams also tutored Taquan Evans to second team all-conference recognition. Evans’ eight sacks in 2019 were the ninth most in one season in program history.

“We’re excited to add Jesse to our coaching staff. He brings a ton of experience to our program,” said Montgomery. “His defensive lines have played tremendously well throughout the years. Jesse is a seasoned coach who brings a lot of knowledge and experience to our athletes, our defensive staff and our staff overall.”

“From a recruiting standpoint, Jesse has a great base that will allow us to hit some different spots and continue to broaden our recruiting footprint. He has a great eye for talent and developing talent, and that’s what it’s about from a coaching standpoint – recruiting guys and being able to develop them when you get them here,” added Montgomery.

He was part of a coaching staff in 2019 that helped EKU’s defense finish second in the OVC in points allowed, second in total defense, second in rushing defense and third in passing defense. Eastern Kentucky was fifth in the nation in third down defense, seventh in fourth down defense, 11th in red-zone defense, 15th in rushing defense, 16th in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense in 2019.

Before his time at EKU, Williams spent two seasons as the defensive line coach at Kansas (2017-18). Under Williams’ guidance, defensive tackle Daniel Wise earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2017 and 2018. Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. was a second team all-conference honoree in 2017. Wise had one of the best seasons of any defensive lineman in the Big 12 in 2017 as he turned in 16 tackles-for-loss, including seven sacks. He ranked second in the Big 12 in tackles for a loss and 11th in the FBS rankings.

Williams arrived at Kansas after spending five seasons (2012-16) as the defensive line coach at Ohio. The 2016 Bobcat defense produced 104 tackles-for-loss, manufactured 44 sacks and held opponents to 104.4 yards rushing per game. Williams’ defensive line broke through blocking schemes for 59.5 tackles for a loss and sacked the quarterback 31.5 times.
Williams tutored the 2016 Mid-American Conference (MAC) Defensive Player of the Year Tarell Basham to a team-high 11.5 sacks. Williams also helped Casey Sayles to third team All-MAC honors with six sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss.

In 2014, the Bobcat defense was stout against the run allowing only 132 yards on the ground per game and holding opponents to under 100 yards in six games. Williams’ defensive line recorded 12 sacks. In 2013, Williams directed a defensive line that accounted for 36 sacks, which tied for 20th in the country and ranked second in the MAC.

Basham made an immediate impact as a rookie, totaling 7.5 sacks, which tied for fifth all-time for a single season. He was named to the Football Writers Association of American (FWAA) Freshmen All-America Team.

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 on a team that played in and won the Independence Bowl.

Before his tenure at Ohio, Williams was the defensive line coach at New Mexico State (2009-11), Nebraska-Kearney (2007-08), Colorado State (2007), Holy Cross (1996-97), Eastern Washington (1995), Portland State (1992-94) and Sonoma State (1988-91). He also served as the defensive ends coach at Colorado State (1999-06) and San Jose State (1998). Williams also served as the special teams coordinator at San Jose State and Holy Cross.

During his career, Williams has recruited California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Texas, Florida and Ohio. He is a 1988 graduate of Sonoma State University. Williams and his wife, Felicia, have three sons, Jessien, Jesse III and Albert.


I.T.S. Legend
Gold Member
Mar 9, 2012
Tulsa, OK
Sonoma State....If you've never visited, it's a beautiful campus...and it is prime hippie land. Sonoma State received a very large (at the time) donation from Charles M Schultz (his wife Jean is an alumna of SSU). There are references to Peanuts characters all over campus as well as a statue of Snoopy & Woodstock outside the main library. I believe at one time (and they may still do) they had a class on wine tasting as part of one of their degree programs as well as several grad programs focused on the wine industry. *Now you know*

I had a friend that I worked with at TU who took a student affairs job at SSU and when my wife and I went to visit SF, we made a day trip up to se him. We went to the Korbel vineyard about 15 minutes from campus. Free tasting. So many free samples we had to hang out for a couple of hours afterwards. DYK Korbel bottles a ton of different varieties of California Champagne and not just the BRUT varieties you can find everywhere? The brut was awful but they make a "Natural", a Chardonnay Champagne, and rose that are really good. The natural was my favorite. My wife was partial to the chardonnay champagne. Again, if you ever get a chance to go, the scenery there is amazing, nestled along the Russian River valley near Sebastopol.

Oh, and I think this is a good hire.


I.T.S. Position Coach
Gold Member
Dec 4, 2003
Thanks for the info BLA....just added another place to the Bucket List.


I.T.S. Hall of Famer
Gold Member
Dec 25, 2004
If memory serves SSU offers both a wine industry MBA and you can get an undergraduate degree that concludes with a sommelier designation.

Latest posts