Hamilton Tiger Cats

Ronald Williams - Running Back - 1998-01 - Clemson


Former Clemson star Williams joins Seneca staff - Upstate Today - 04-07-2009

Ronald Williams, a former All-ACC running back for the Tigers, is slated to coach his old position with the Bobcats this season, bringing with him a strong coaching record and a wealth of professional playing experience that has helped pave the way for him to return to the shadow of Death Valley.

That’s an opportunity Williams relishes, as he said he’s happy to be back near his old stamping grounds, where he was named the ACC Rookie of the Year in 1990 and was a member of the Tigers’ last ACC Championship squad in 1991.

“I’m very excited to be back,” Williams said. “It’s a great opportunity not just to coach football, but just to get into the teaching aspect of it, too. The football is just a plus from here on in.”

Following what was a stellar start to his career, as Williams garnered All-ACC honors in each of his first two years at

Ronald Williams       Clemson        
  Rushing           Receiving    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD C Yds Avg Lg TD
1996 BC 92 535 5.8 38 2 15 195 13.0 57 0
1997 Wpg 211 1,120 5.3 52 16 30 258 8.6 23 0
1998 Ham 154 807 5.2 66 13 21 350 16.7 36 0
1999 Ham 207 1,025 5.0 65 14 40 394 9.9 49 1
2000 Ham 267 1,264 4.7 70 13 28 273 9.8 51 2
2001 Ham 120 607 5.1 34 3 11 91 8.3 22 0
Edm 123 593 4.8 48 5 8 73 9.1 23 0
2002 Edm 88 254 2.9 22 5 13 144 11.1 34 1
Total 7 1,262 6,205 4.9 70 71 166 1,778 10.7 57 4

Clemson, a roadblock was thrown his way in the form of a torn ACL, which jeopardized his career and led to him leaving school after the 1992 season.

After leaving the Tigers with 1,824 yards and 13 touchdowns in his career, while averaging a healthy 5.6 yards per carry, Williams briefly found his way onto the Cincinnati Bengals’ roster, before he went across the pond to join the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe.

Williams then caught on with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League in 1996, and was a mainstay in the league until his retirement in 2002 after spending his final season with the Edmonton Eskimos.


He broke out with Winnipeg in 1997 with 1,120 rushing yards before joining the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1997 where he would enjoy his greatest success. He would be the focal point of a Tiger Cat offence that would advance to back-to-back Grey Cups in 1998 and 1999 capturing the Cup in '99 over Calgary he posted 13 touchdowns in 1998 and 15 in '99. He had his finest season in 2000 with 1,264 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. He was released outright in the middle of the 2001 season by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after coach Ron Lancaster labelled him a "disruptive influence" in the locker-room.


He would join the Edmonton Eskimos in 2001 and have success but then in 2002 he was waived by the team in November after he was involved in a dispute with teammate Elfrid Payton on the sidelines during a game. He wasn't picked up by another club ending his career in the CFL.

Those experiences, though not necessarily reflecting the path Williams had envisioned for his professional career, were ones he said were invaluable to him leading into his post-playing career.

“Football took me all over the world, and I was very fortunate to come back from a severe injury and play professionally,” Williams said. “It taught me a lot about different cultures, and it helped me grow up to be the man I am.”

And with those experiences, Duncan knows his strong stable of running backs, including T.J. Boyd, Chris Robinson, Demarcus Taylor and C.J. Washington, will be paying extra-close attention to their new coach.

“After playing at Clemson and the kind of career he had there and of course having some NFL experience, he brings a lot of credibility,” Duncan said. “He’s been there and done it, and he’ll be a big help for our program.

“He’s a great guy and a great coach, and we know he’s going to get the most out of those running backs.”