He was only here for a moment. For Richard Williamson, it must have felt like an eternity.
Williamson, the former Tampa Bay Bucs’ coach, died Wednesday at the age of 74. He coached the Bucs from the end of the ’90 season through 1991, frustrating seasons that he could not stop. Williamson was 4-15 in his time in charge of the Bucs.
His tenure came in the middle of a long streak of losing seasons for Tampa Bay. He followed Ray Perkins, and he turned the team over to Sam Wyche, neither of whom were particularly successful themselves. But even that shows how close the Bucs might have been to success. Before Tampa Bay hired Williamson, they flirted with Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh. After they fired Williamson, they made a run at Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells.
Williamson, who was Perkins’ receivers coach and assistant head coach, took over the team with three games left in the 1990 season and went 1-2. During the off-season, owner Hugh Culverhouse interviewed Buddy Ryan, Bill Belichick and Miami assistant Gary Stevens.
Culverhouse decided to go with Williamson, however. It lasted only one season before he went hard after Parcells, then settled on Wyche.
Williamson spent 14 seasons as an assistant for the Carolina Panthers, most of them as the wide receiver coach.