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Former Tampa Bay Bucs coach Richard Williamson dies at 74

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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.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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