Oregon coach Mario Cristobal announced today that Donte Williams has joined the staff as the outside linebackers coach. Williams joins Cristobal’s staff after spending last season at Nebraska where he coached cornerbacks and sub-package specialists (nickels and dimes), while also being involved in the pass defense coordination.
Williams will replace Raymond Woodie who went to Florida State with former Oregon coach Willie Taggart.
“We are excited to add Donte to the staff,” Cristobal said. “His leadership skills and impact on student-athletes will be of great benefit to our program. Donte is an excellent coach and a nationally recognized top recruiter, and we look to forward to utilizing his efforts, knowledge and energy to move our program forward.”
Williams began his full-time Division I coaching career at San Jose State in 2013. After a season coaching cornerbacks for the Spartans, he was promoted to secondary coach and recruiting coordinator for his final two seasons in San Jose.
The Spartans’ defense made immediate improvements with Williams’ addition. In his first season overseeing the entire secondary in 2014, San Jose State’s total defense improved 71 spots in the FBS rankings, while passing yards allowed improved 85 spots and passing touchdowns allowed jumped 102 spots.
In 2014, SJSU led the country in both passing yards allowed (117.8) and passing touchdowns allowed (6), while ranking 33rd in total defense (357.3). Those numbers were a decrease of 102 yards per game in total defense, as well as 126.9 yards per game in passing yards allowed with 20 fewer touchdown passes allowed. In Williams’ final season at San Jose State, the Spartans ranked second in passing yards allowed (157.8), 29th in passing touchdowns allowed (16) and 34th in total defense (358.5).
In addition to his on-field work, Williams earned recognition for bolstering San Jose State’s recruiting efforts. In 2015, Sports Illustrated named Williams a top 10 recruiter in college football. He was also named the top recruiter in the Mountain West Conference in 2014 by 247Sports.
Williams joined the Spartans staff after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant at Washington where he coached cornerbacks and linebackers. He started his career as the secondary coach at Los Angeles Harbor College before working in the same position at El Camino College (2008) and Mount San Antonio College (2009). Williams spent the 2010 season as a quality control coach at Nevada assisting with linebackers.
Williams graduated from Idaho State in 2006 where he served as defensive team captain and earned first-team All-Big Sky honors during his junior and senior seasons.