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Texas Longhorns hire Charlie Williams as WR coach

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Charlie Strong has now filled two of his three open staff positions.

Charlie Williams
Charlie Williams
Indianapolis Colts

The Texas Longhorns made a second addition to head coach Charlie Strong's staff in the last three days, as former Indianapolis Colts running backs coach Charlie Williams will replace the departed Jay Norvell as the wide receivers coach, according to Orangebloods' Anwar Richardson.

Horns Digest confirmed the news a short while later, as did the Longhorn Network, then the school itself.

"Coaching at Texas, one of the premier football programs in the country, is an unbelievable opportunity," Williams said in a statement released by the school. "After coaching in the NFL for the past four years, I'm excited to get back on a college campus to help these young student-athletes grow and develop both as players on the field and students in the classroom. It gives me a chance to coach and teach young student-athletes again, and I'm excited for the challenges ahead."

"Charlie (Williams) is a well-respected veteran coach who has been developing a lot of great receivers at the collegiate and NFL levels for a long time," Strong said. "He's a high-energy coach who we are really excited to be adding to our staff. Charlie will do a tremendous job working with all of our young, talented receivers and rounds out a terrific offensive coaching staff. You could see he connected with all of them during his interview and that they were all on the same page. I know he'll bring a lot of expertise and passion to our team and is a coach our guys will really respond to."

Strong hired Texas alum Anthony Johnson away from Toledo on Saturday to replace Tommie Robinson and now has some NFL experience coaching the wide receivers position again, as Norvell also spent several years in the NFL. The open position remaining is that of defensive backs coach following the dismissal of Chris Vaughn late last week as a result of alleged improprieties when he coached at Ole Miss.

A recent visit to Austin for an interview allowed Williams to connect with the two primary figures in the 2016 Texas offense -- offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and his longtime friend and assistant, offensive line coach/running game coordinator Matt Mattox.

"I had a chance to talk at length with Sterlin (Gilbert) and Matt (Mattox) on my visit to Austin and they're two young coaches who have been a part of some great offenses over the years," Williams said. "The fast break, no-huddle offense, as I like to call it, is going to need our wide receiver group to play a big role in it. I'm looking forward to working with the offensive staff, teaching our players and getting things going at Texas.

"First and foremost, our receiver group is going to be about 'we.' We'll work hard each and every day to get better, and it doesn't matter who gets the credit. I know we have a lot of young talent, and we'll work together to find our identity as a group and develop in all of the areas it entails to be a great receiver. I've always felt that if you master all of the little things, the big things take care of themselves. And that will be our goal as a unit."

While Williams used that trip to get acquainted with Gilbert and Mattox for the first time, he's known Strong for some time.

"I've known Charlie since his years at South Carolina, and I've followed his career ever since," Williams said. "He's done a great job at every place he's been and is a guy that everyone in our business has great respect for. I'm looking forward to working with Charlie and the rest of the staff as we dive into the challenge of getting the Longhorn program back on top."

Williams was recently fired by the Colts after spending one season as the running backs coach in Indianapolis and two seasons as the wide receivers coach. A coaching veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Williams helped turn TY Hilton into a breakout star in Indianapolis and was previously responsible for helping to put Hakeem Nicks in position to break 14 school records at North Carolina, where Williams coached wide receivers from 2007 to 2011.

Previous stops for Williams were also successful -- from 2004 to 2006 at Arizona and 2003 at South Carolina.

A defensive back in college at Colorado State out of Long Beach, California, Williams started his coaching career at Long Beach City College in 1984, five years after his playing days with the Rams ended.

Since he's made only one other stop in the state of Texas, spending 1988 to 1991 coaching running backs and wide receivers at TCU, the major question facing Williams is how well he can recruit his position and provide added value in his assigned region. However, his track record of success developing wide receivers and NFL experience should make him an effective position coach and give him a valuable selling point with recruits.