BLACKSBURG, Va. – (Via VT Athletics) - Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente announced Saturday that Jafar Williams has accepted a role on Tech’s staff as wide receivers coach. Owning 14 years of college football coaching experience, the Philadelphia native joins the Hokies after serving stints as running backs coach at Maryland in 2018 and wide receivers coach at Rutgers in 2016-17.
“I knew the qualities we wanted in an assistant coach and recruiter to fill this position,” Fuente said. “Jafar possesses familiarity with our offensive philosophy, as well as our coaching style and expectations. Jafar has been through the recruiting process as a coach and a student-athlete and has built solid relationships across our region. He has also paid his dues in the coaching ranks, gained experience in a variety of different positions during his career. We’re excited about him joining our coaching staff at Virginia Tech.”
Williams began his coaching career as passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Penn., from 2005-06, helping that school win its first conference title. He then enjoyed a two-year stint as wide receivers coach at Illinois State (2007-08), where WR Eyad Salem earned first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors and WR Jason Horton received second-team All-MVC accolades under his tutelage.
In 2009, he moved on to coach wide receivers at Howard University, where WR Willie Carter earned second-team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference acclaim. After a one-year stint as special teams quality control coach for Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern (2010), he spent two seasons as running backs coach at Kent State (2011-12). The Golden Flashes went 11-3 in 2012 and earned the MAC’s East Division title with an 8-0 conference record.
At Kent State, he coached one of the nation’s most productive rushing duos in RBs Dri Archer and Traylon Durham, who combined to rush for 2,745 yards and 30 touchdowns in 2012. Archer led Kent State with 1,429 rushing yards and also hauled in a team-high 39 receptions for 561 yards with four touchdowns, while returning 16 kickoffs for 591 yards with three TDs to earn consensus All-America honors following the 2012 season. Meanwhile, Durham finished with 1,316 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, as the team ranked 18th nationally in rushing offense (225.8 ypg). Archer was selected by Pittsburgh in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Williams coached running backs at Purdue (2013-15), helping RB Markell Jones set the school’s freshman rushing record with 875 yards in 2015. His 72.9 yards-per-game rushing average ranked eighth in the Big Ten, while his 10 rushing TDs led the Boilermakers. In 2014, RB Akeem Hunt led Purdue with 949 rushing yards and ranked eighth in the Big Ten by averaging 79.1 rushing ypg.
Prior to returning to his alma mater in 2018, Williams coached wide receivers at Rutgers in 2016-17. In 2016, WR Jawuan Harris led all Big Ten freshmen with 39 catches for 481 yards. Williams once again mentored a prolific rushing duo in 2018 as RBs Anthony McFarland (7.9 yards per carry) and Ty Johnson (7.7 yards per carry) ranked second and third respectively in the Big Ten in rushing average. McFarland led the squad in rushing with 131 carries for 1,034 yards (7.9 avg.) and four TDs, with his 86.2 yards-per-game average ranking eighth in the conference.
In 44 career collegiate games as a player, he caught 90 passes for 1,301 yards (14.5 avg.) with seven TDs, including a 64-yard score in the 2002 Orange Bowl. He averaged 20.07 yards per catch for the Terrapins in 2002, the third-best seasonal mark in school history. He holds a degree in health and human performance.