Friday, February 12, 1999
lands job with
The Rainbows' defensiveBy Paul Arnett
coordinator last season will
coach Huskies linebackers
Tom Williams was on a boat doing a little whale-watching yesterday afternoon when he told the Star-Bulletin that he had been hired by new University of Washington head coach Rich Neuheisel.
Williams will likely handle inside or outside linebackers, his specialty. The former Hawaii defensive coordinator is the third assistant to be hired off former head coach Fred vonAppen's staff.
The other two are offensive coordinator Don Lindsey, who will be the defensive coordinator for the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League, and running backs coach Don Dillon. He will be the head coach at America River Community College in the Sacramento, Calif. area.
"I'm ecstatic," Williams said. "I'm out here watching whales, feeling very fortunate to land such a good job. I'll probably be reporting there in the next week or so.
"To be a part of a big-time Pac-10 program is every coach's dream. Coach Neuheisel has one of the best minds in the game. I'm pleased for the opportunity."
Williams was the one assistant UH athletic director Hugh Yoshida reportedly wanted to keep, but new head coach June Jones opted not to interview Williams.
The best recruiter on vonAppen's staff, Williams will likely handle the Bay Area and other hot spots in California and Texas.
"I told Rick that he was getting one of the best young coaches in the game," vonAppen said yesterday.
"I'm happy for Tom. He needs to leave this experience behind him, but never forget it."
Williams said the firing of vonAppen and his staff still leaves him a little cold. While glad for the three years to work under vonAppen and Lindsey, UH will never hold a special place in his heart.
"It's disillusioning, but that's how this business goes sometimes," Williams said. "You've got to take the good with the bad, learn from it and then move on.
"What happened to Fred was disgraceful. And one day, the people of Hawaii are going to learn the truth about that situation.
"I'm just glad Fred hired me and gave me my chance. I'll never forget him for it."