Del Williams
Del Williams
Full Name:  Delano Roger Williams
     Born:  November 9, 1945 in Live Oak, Fl
     Died:  November 28, 1984 in Slidell, La
   School:  Suwannee High School in Live Oak, Florida


Click On Photo To Enlarge
    Saint Del Williams in action (61)
From the collection of long-time FSU Trainer Don Fauls
donated to Florida State by his children


FSU Career
Football
Year  No  Pos     Hgt  Wgt  Cl  Ltr  Hometown
1964  70  T       6-2  229  So   *   Live Oak                    
1965  70  OT      6-2  230  Jr   *   Live Oak                    
1966  70  OG      6-2  237  Sr   *   Live Oak                    


Awards
Football
Year  Award
1966  Associated Press - 2nd Team All-American
      Newspaper Enterprises Association - 2nd Team All-American
      United Press International - 2nd Team All-American
Elected into the FSU Hall of Fame in 1982
His big number 70 cleared a path for Seminole backs for three years, 1964-1966. For two years the Live Oak native played tackle, switching to guard in 1966. Del Williams played in the Gator and Sun Bowls and following his final season, played in the Coaches' All-American game. He also became the first Seminole picked to play in the East-West Shrine game. In 1966 Del Williams was awarded the Tallahassee Quarterback Club's trophy as most valuable Seminole gridder. That season he was named second team All-American by NEA, UPI, and AP. In his senior year, Miami Herald sports editor Edwin Pope wrote of Del, "He is one of the best pulling guards I have ever seen." After graduation, Williams started at guard, tackle, and center from 1967 to 1973 for the New Orleans Saints. In the trenches where the game is decided, no one in Garnet and Gold has made his mark with greater ability and dedication than Del Williams.

Obituary for Del Williams
From the Tallahassee Democrat
By Bill McGrotha
November 29, 1984

Del Williams, one of the great players of Florida State football history, died Wednesday morning after a year's battle with amytrophic lateral sclerosis - "Lou Gehrig's Disease."

He died at age 39 in Slidell, La., where he lived during several outstanding seasons as an offensive lineman for the New Orleans Saints, and where he owned a thriving automobile business.

A Live Oak native, Williams was the only sophomore to start every game during Florida State's celebrated 1964 season that saw the Seminoles beat Florida for the first time. That team holds a 20th annual reunion here this weekend.

An offensive tackle, he was chosen to the All-American second team of The Associated Press during his senior year. A member of the original Saints, he played all five offensive-line positions at one time or another for the NFL team. During his years with the Saints, the popular Williams returned to Tallahassee for a period and was in business here.

After retirement from the Saints, he entered business in Slidell. He also did football play-by-play for the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL and for Tulane University.

One of the best known and liked of former Florida State players, Williams had played high-school ball on a championship team under Gene Cox, the Leon coach, at Live Oak.

Earlier this year, Williams came in a wheelchair to Live Oak for a last reunion with old teammates, schoolmates and coaches.

The disease that struck down Lou Gehrig, the famed first baseman of the New York Yankees, hit Williams late last season. Like Gehrig, Williams seemed among the biggest and strongest of men. Amytrophic lateral sclerosis - an insidious disease, according to the book - is rare. Its cause is unknown. It is characterized by progressive deterioration of affected areas, but the senses are not impaired.

The disease is usually fatal within two to six years. Williams' time was shorter.

With Williams, it apparently started in the summer of '83. The little finger on his left hand started to droop. It seemed like nothing. Then it worsened. In October, he saw a neurologist, but it was not until last February that his affliction was diagnosed by the Mayo Clinic.

"Sometimes the challenges are pretty steep," Williams said after learning of the diagnosis. "And no one has promised tomorrow.

"They told me it hits one man in a million. It happened to be my number that came up."

He said those words matter of factly, even cheerfully. Saying he had put his problem into the hands of the Lord, and that it was the only way to go, he remained uncommonly cheerful as the paralysis spread.

One of the early moves Williams mad after learning of his illness was to visit Florida State. He walked into the office of Athletic Director Hootie Ingram, introduced himself, told him of the circumstances and made quiet arrangements to endow a scholarship.

Bobby Bowden became close to Williams when he was an assistant with the Seminoles in '64.

"The last time I saw Del was last August," said Florida State's head coach. "He was lying in a van, had been to Live Oak and was returning to Slidell. He could talk only a little then.

"But there was that old smile."

Williams once said the first indoor plumbing he knew came when he enrolled at Florida State.

"I remember going to Live Oak to make a speech, and Del went along," said Bowden. "That was when we got kinda close. After the speech, he took me to his house, and he lived way back there, in a cabin with his grandmother. It was just real nice. Modest, but real nice.

"I tell you what Del was like - just a big, strong compassionate guy, that's what he was.

"He probably had as much courage as anybody I ever saw on the football field. He was tenderhearted off the field, but out on that field he would work you over, wear you out and bury you. He was afraid of nothing."

The week prior to the South Carolina game Del's brother Al wrote a lengthy letter to Bowden. At this point, the only way Del could communicate was with a pencil in his mouth that enabled him to spell out words on a child's toy. He sent a message to the Seminoles wishing the well, and particularly urged the offensive line to do its best. Bowden read portions of the letter to the squad.

Gene Cox recalled the Del Williams that played for him.

"Among the things I remember was that he used to play football all afternoon," said Cox, "and then go home and plow."

Williams talked earlier this year, after full realization of his situation, of having everything anyone could want.

When just two years ago he was inducted into Florida State's Athletic Hall of Fame at a dinner that was not formal, the proud Williams showed up in a tuxedo.

Williams also had talked of not having so much growing up.

"But we had love and companionship," he said, "and every time the Rosemary Baptist Church opened its doors we were there."

On Saturday the doors of Rosemary Baptist Church open one last time for Del Williams.

The funeral is at 11 a.m.



FSU Statistics
Football
Season Statistics
Defense
         |       Tackles        |   Sacks  |    Fumble    |     Pass Defense    | Blkd |   PAT Attempts  |        |         |    |
Year  GP |  ua   a Tot  tfl-yds |   no-yds | ff fr-yds-td | int-yds-td qbh brup | kick |   kick  rsh rcv |   fg   | saf dxp | td | pts
---------|----------------------|----------|--------------|---------------------|------|-----------------|--------|---------|----|----
1964     |   0   0   0  0.0-    |  0.0-    |  0   -  0- 0 |    -  0- 0   0   0  |   0  |   0- 0   0   0  |  0- 0  |   0   0 |  0 |   0
1965     |   0   0   0  0.0-    |  0.0-    |  0   -  0- 0 |    -  0- 0   0   0  |   0  |   0- 0   0   0  |  0- 0  |   0   0 |  0 |   0
1966     |   0   0   0  0.0-    |  0.0-    |  0   -  0- 0 |    -  0- 0   0   0  |   0  |   0- 0   0   0  |  0- 0  |   0   0 |  0 |   0
---------|----------------------|----------|--------------|---------------------|------|-----------------|--------|---------|----|----
Tot    0 |   0   0   0  0.0-  0 |  0.0-  0 |  0  0-  0- 0 |   0-  0- 0   0   0  |   0  |   0- 0   0   0  |  0- 0  |   0   0 |  0 |   0
Offense/Kick and Punt Returns
         |       Rushing        |      Receiving       |         Passing          |     Kick Returns      |     Punt Returns      |  all
Year  GP |  no  yds  avg td lg  |  no  yds  avg td lg  | cmp- att-int  yds td lg  |  no  yds  avg td  lg  |  no  yds  avg td  lg  | purp
---------|----------------------|----------------------|--------------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|-----
1964     |        0  0.0        |           0.0        |    -    -                |           0.0         |           0.0         |     
1965     |        0  0.0        |           0.0        |    -    -                |           0.0         |           0.0         |     
1966     |        0  0.0        |           0.0        |    -    -                |           0.0         |           0.0         |     
---------|----------------------|----------------------|--------------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|-----
Tot    0 |   0    0  0.0  0     |   0    0  0.0  0     |   0-   0- 0     0  0     |   0    0  0.0  0      |   0    0  0.0  0      |    0
Football
Game Participation
                            |      Starts
1964                        | GP  Off  Def
----------------------------|--------------
Sep 19 MIAMI                |  1  LT       
Sep 26 TEXAS CHRISTIAN      |  1  LT       
Oct  3 NEW MEXICO STATE     |  1  LT       
Oct 10 KENTUCKY             |  1  LT       
Oct 17 GEORGIA              |  1  LT       
Oct 24 VIRGINIA TECH        |  1  LT       
Oct 31 SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI |  1  LT       
Nov  7 HOUSTON              |  1  LT       
Nov 14 NORTH CAROLINA STATE |  1  LT       
Nov 21 FLORIDA              |  1  LT       
Jan  2 OKLAHOMA             |  1  LT       
----------------------------|--------------
Tot                         | 11  11    0

                            |      Starts
1965                        | GP  Off  Def
----------------------------|--------------
Sep 25 TEXAS CHRISTIAN      |  1  LT       
Oct  2 BAYLOR               |  1  LT       
Oct  9 KENTUCKY             |  1  LT       
Oct 16 GEORGIA              |  1  LT       
Oct 23 ALABAMA              |  1  LT       
Oct 30 VIRGINIA TECH        |  1  LT       
Nov  6 WAKE FOREST          |  1  LT       
Nov 13 NORTH CAROLINA STATE |  1  LT       
Nov 20 HOUSTON              |  1  LT       
Nov 27 FLORIDA              |  1  LT       
----------------------------|--------------
Tot                         | 10  10    0

                            |      Starts
1966                        | GP  Off  Def
----------------------------|--------------
Sep 17 HOUSTON              |  1  RG       
Sep 24 MIAMI                |  1  RG       
Oct  8 FLORIDA              |  1  RG       
Oct 15 TEXAS TECH           |  1  RG       
Oct 22 MISSISSIPPI STATE    |  1  RG       
Oct 29 VIRGINIA TECH        |  1  RG       
Nov  5 SOUTH CAROLINA       |  1  RG       
Nov 12 SYRACUSE             |  1  RG       
Nov 19 WAKE FOREST          |  1  RG       
Nov 26 MARYLAND             |  1  RG       
Dec 24 WYOMING              |  1  RG       
----------------------------|--------------
Tot                         | 11  11    0

----------------------------|--------------
Career Tot                  | 32  32    0
Football
Game Statistics
                            |       Tackles        |   Sacks  |    Fumble    |     Pass Defense    | Blkd |   PAT Attempts  |        |         |    |
1964                        |  ua   a Tot  tfl-yds |   no-yds | ff fr-yds-td | int-yds-td qbh brup | kick |   kick  rsh rcv |   fg   | saf dxp | td | pts
----------------------------|----------------------|----------|--------------|---------------------|------|-----------------|--------|---------|----|----
Oct 24 VIRGINIA TECH        |   1   0   1  0.0-  0 |  0.0-  0 |  0  0-  0- 0 |   0-  0- 0   0   0  |   0  |   0- 0    0   0 |  0- 0  |   0   0 |  0 |   0
----------------------------|----------------------|----------|--------------|---------------------|------|-----------------|--------|---------|----|----
Tot                         |   1   0   1  0.0-  0 |  0.0-  0 |  0  0-  0- 0 |   0-  0- 0   0   0  |   0  |   0- 0    0   0 |  0- 0  |  0    0 |  0 |   0

                            |       Rushing        |      Receiving       |         Passing          |     Kick Returns      |     Punt Returns      |  all
1964                        |  no  yds  avg td lg  |  no  yds  avg td lg  | cmp- att-int  yds td lg  |  no  yds  avg td  lg  |  no  yds  avg td  lg  | purp
----------------------------|----------------------|----------------------|--------------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|-----
Oct 24 VIRGINIA TECH        |   0    0  0.0  0     |   0    0  0.0  0     |    -   0- 0     0  0     |   0    0  0.0         |   0    0  0.0  0      |     
----------------------------|----------------------|----------------------|--------------------------|-----------------------|-----------------------|-----
Tot                         |   0    0  0.0  0     |   0    0  0.0  0     |   0-   0- 0     0  0     |   0    0  0.0  0      |   0    0  0.0  0      |    0



Pro Career
Football
Height: 6-2   Weight: 245
Drafted: 1967, 3rd Round  #79, New Orleans Saints, C     
Debut: September 17, 1967

Year  Abbr   Team                                No      Pos
1967  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG
1968  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG
1969  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG
1970  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG
1971  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG
1972  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG
1973  NO     New Orleans Saints                  61      OG


Pro Statistics
Football
Offensive Statistics
Year Team  GP  GS
-----------------
1967 NO    14   0
1968 NO    14   0
1969 NO    14   0
1970 NO    14   0
1971 NO    14   0
1972 NO     8   0
1973 NO    14   0
-----------------
7 Years    92   0