Coaches

Alan Williams
Defensive Backs/Safeties
College:
William & Mary
Hometown:
Norfolk, Va.
Experience:
27

Williams is in his first season with the Colts after spending the last four seasons (2014-17) as defensive backs/safeties coach with the Detroit Lions. He has 26 years of coaching experience, including 17 seasons in the NFL. Williams re-joins Indianapolis after serving as the team’s defensive backs coach for 10 seasons (2002-2011).

 

In 2017, Williams guided a defensive unit that posted the fourth most interceptions in the NFL (19) while tying for the league lead in interceptions returned for touchdown (three). The Lions also tied for 10th in passes defensed (79). Williams helped guide cornerback Darius Slay to his first career Pro Bowl and Associated Press All-Pro Team selections. Slay had a career year as he registered 60 tackles (54 solo) and set career highs with eight interceptions, 26 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. His 26 passes defensed established a franchise single-season record and were the most by a Detroit player since cornerback Corey Raymond (24) in 1995. Slay finished first in the NFL in passes defensed and tied for first in interceptions. Defensive backs Quandre Diggs and Glover Quin each contributed with three interceptions.

 

In 2016, the Lions were one of only two teams (Tampa Bay) in the NFL with three safeties who recorded two or more interceptions and one of five teams who featured four safeties with at least one interception. Detroit’s seven interceptions by safeties marked the third time since 2000 that Lions safeties have registered seven or more interceptions in a season since 2000. Safeties Quin, Tavon Wilson and Rafael Bush each recorded two interceptions, while rookie safety Miles Killebrew picked off his first career pass at New Orleans (12/4). The unit seemed to perform at crunch time as three of the Lions safeties’ interceptions occurred after the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter.

 

Williams received strong contribution from the veteran Quin in 2015. With a start at Chicago in the 2015 season finale, Quin recorded his 100th consecutive career start. Quin finished the season with four interceptions to became the first Lions defensive player to tally four-or-more interceptions in back-to-back seasons since cornerback Dré Bly accomplished that three-straight years from 2003-05 (6 in 2003, 4 in 2004, 6 in 2005). Williams’ safeties led the team in tackles seven times in 2015, with defensive backs (including cornerbacks) leading the team in 10 games.

 

In Williams’ first season with Detroit in 2014, Quin garnered the most productive season of his career as he compiled 73 tackles (57 solo), a career-high seven interceptions and 10 passes defensed en route to his first career Pro Bowl selection. Quin finished as the league leader in interceptions and became the first Lions player to lead the NFL in interceptions since Hall of Fame cornerback Lem Barney in 1967 (10). He was also the first Lions player to grab seven picks in a season since safety Kurt Schulz (seven) in 2000. Quin also received Second Team Associated Press All-Pro honors for his performance. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15, the third Lions player to receive the honor in 2014 (linebacker DeAndre Levy, Week 1; defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, Week 6). As a unit, the Lions safeties led the NFL in interceptions with 11 and ranked fourth in passes defensed with 20.

During Williams’ tenure as defensive coordinator in Minnesota (2012-13), the Vikings were tied for seventh in sacks (85.0) and ninth in tackles for loss (91.0). In 2013, the Vikings defense overcame a variety of injuries as three players in the defensive backfield, safety Andrew Sendejo, cornerback Marcus Sherels and cornerback Shaun Prater, logged their first career interceptions under Williams’ watch. Veteran defensive end Jared Allen led the team in sacks with 11.5, his seventh straight season with 10+ sacks, as fellow defensive end Brian Robison recorded a career-best 9.0.

 

Williams spent a decade coaching the Indianapolis Colts secondary where he worked with some of the NFL’s most elite defensive backfield talent, including safeties Antoine Bethea and Bob Sanders. From 2002-2011, the Colts ranked in the top six in the NFL in passing defense five times and finished out of the top 15 only once. Williams guided Bethea (2007, 2009) and Sanders (2005, 2007) to two Pro Bowl seasons each. Sanders was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, the first Colts player to ever receive the honor.

 

From 2002-2010, the Colts earned nine-consecutive playoff berths, during which the defense recorded 18 interceptions in the playoffs, including seven during the team’s playoff-run to their Super Bowl XLI win over Chicago in 2006. Williams’ secondary also helped the Colts defense in 2008 set an NFL record for fewest passing touchdowns allowed with six, the lowest number ever surrendered in a 16-game season.

 

Williams began his NFL coaching career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001 as a defensive assistant under former head coach Tony Dungy, where he worked with All-Pro players in the likes of John Lynch and Ronde Barber. That season, Williams coached alongside current Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin as the Bucs finished 9-7 and earned an NFC Wild Card berth.

 

A former standout running back at William & Mary from 1988-91, Williams later returned to his alma mater where he coached the running backs (1996-97) and defensive backs (1998-2000) for five seasons. His first coaching stint was as an assistant head coach at Norview (Va.) High School where worked with running backs and defensive backs from 1992-95.

 

Williams is a native of Norfolk, Va. and he and his wife, Lisa, have three children – Christian, Solomon and Nathan.

 

Coaching Career

1992-1995       Norview (Va.) High School     Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs/Defensive

Backs

1996-1997       William & Mary                        Running Backs

1998-2000       William & Mary                        Defensive Backs

2001                Tampa Bay Buccaneers         Defensive Assistant

2002-2011       Indianapolis Colts                   Defensive Backs

2012-2013       Minnesota Vikings                  Defensive Coordinator

2014-2017       Detroit Lions                            Defensive Backs/Safeties

2018                Indianapolis Colts                   Defensive Backs/Safeties

Williams is in his first season with the Colts after spending the last four seasons (2014-17) as defensive backs/safeties coach with the Detroit Lions. He has 26 years of coaching experience, including 17 seasons in the NFL. Williams re-joins Indianapolis after serving as the team’s defensive backs coach for 10 seasons (2002-2011).

 

In 2017, Williams guided a defensive unit that posted the fourth most interceptions in the NFL (19) while tying for the league lead in interceptions returned for touchdown (three). The Lions also tied for 10th in passes defensed (79). Williams helped guide cornerback Darius Slay to his first career Pro Bowl and Associated Press All-Pro Team selections. Slay had a career year as he registered 60 tackles (54 solo) and set career highs with eight interceptions, 26 passes defensed and one fumble recovery. His 26 passes defensed established a franchise single-season record and were the most by a Detroit player since cornerback Corey Raymond (24) in 1995. Slay finished first in the NFL in passes defensed and tied for first in interceptions. Defensive backs Quandre Diggs and Glover Quin each contributed with three interceptions.

 

In 2016, the Lions were one of only two teams (Tampa Bay) in the NFL with three safeties who recorded two or more interceptions and one of five teams who featured four safeties with at least one interception. Detroit’s seven interceptions by safeties marked the third time since 2000 that Lions safeties have registered seven or more interceptions in a season since 2000. Safeties Quin, Tavon Wilson and Rafael Bush each recorded two interceptions, while rookie safety Miles Killebrew picked off his first career pass at New Orleans (12/4). The unit seemed to perform at crunch time as three of the Lions safeties’ interceptions occurred after the two-minute warning of the fourth quarter.

 

Williams received strong contribution from the veteran Quin in 2015. With a start at Chicago in the 2015 season finale, Quin recorded his 100th consecutive career start. Quin finished the season with four interceptions to became the first Lions defensive player to tally four-or-more interceptions in back-to-back seasons since cornerback Dré Bly accomplished that three-straight years from 2003-05 (6 in 2003, 4 in 2004, 6 in 2005). Williams’ safeties led the team in tackles seven times in 2015, with defensive backs (including cornerbacks) leading the team in 10 games.

 

In Williams’ first season with Detroit in 2014, Quin garnered the most productive season of his career as he compiled 73 tackles (57 solo), a career-high seven interceptions and 10 passes defensed en route to his first career Pro Bowl selection. Quin finished as the league leader in interceptions and became the first Lions player to lead the NFL in interceptions since Hall of Fame cornerback Lem Barney in 1967 (10). He was also the first Lions player to grab seven picks in a season since safety Kurt Schulz (seven) in 2000. Quin also received Second Team Associated Press All-Pro honors for his performance. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 15, the third Lions player to receive the honor in 2014 (linebacker DeAndre Levy, Week 1; defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, Week 6). As a unit, the Lions safeties led the NFL in interceptions with 11 and ranked fourth in passes defensed with 20.

During Williams’ tenure as defensive coordinator in Minnesota (2012-13), the Vikings were tied for seventh in sacks (85.0) and ninth in tackles for loss (91.0). In 2013, the Vikings defense overcame a variety of injuries as three players in the defensive backfield, safety Andrew Sendejo, cornerback Marcus Sherels and cornerback Shaun Prater, logged their first career interceptions under Williams’ watch. Veteran defensive end Jared Allen led the team in sacks with 11.5, his seventh straight season with 10+ sacks, as fellow defensive end Brian Robison recorded a career-best 9.0.

 

Williams spent a decade coaching the Indianapolis Colts secondary where he worked with some of the NFL’s most elite defensive backfield talent, including safeties Antoine Bethea and Bob Sanders. From 2002-2011, the Colts ranked in the top six in the NFL in passing defense five times and finished out of the top 15 only once. Williams guided Bethea (2007, 2009) and Sanders (2005, 2007) to two Pro Bowl seasons each. Sanders was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, the first Colts player to ever receive the honor.

 

From 2002-2010, the Colts earned nine-consecutive playoff berths, during which the defense recorded 18 interceptions in the playoffs, including seven during the team’s playoff-run to their Super Bowl XLI win over Chicago in 2006. Williams’ secondary also helped the Colts defense in 2008 set an NFL record for fewest passing touchdowns allowed with six, the lowest number ever surrendered in a 16-game season.

 

Williams began his NFL coaching career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001 as a defensive assistant under former head coach Tony Dungy, where he worked with All-Pro players in the likes of John Lynch and Ronde Barber. That season, Williams coached alongside current Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin as the Bucs finished 9-7 and earned an NFC Wild Card berth.

 

A former standout running back at William & Mary from 1988-91, Williams later returned to his alma mater where he coached the running backs (1996-97) and defensive backs (1998-2000) for five seasons. His first coaching stint was as an assistant head coach at Norview (Va.) High School where worked with running backs and defensive backs from 1992-95.

 

Williams is a native of Norfolk, Va. and he and his wife, Lisa, have three children – Christian, Solomon and Nathan.

 

Coaching Career

1992-1995       Norview (Va.) High School     Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs/Defensive

Backs

1996-1997       William & Mary                        Running Backs

1998-2000       William & Mary                        Defensive Backs

2001                Tampa Bay Buccaneers         Defensive Assistant

2002-2011       Indianapolis Colts                   Defensive Backs

2012-2013       Minnesota Vikings                  Defensive Coordinator

2014-2017       Detroit Lions                            Defensive Backs/Safeties

2018                Indianapolis Colts                   Defensive Backs/Safeties