Jerry Williams '42
professional football player & coach
While at North Central, Jerry Williams was an All-City running back and All-Inland Empire Athlete of the Year (1942) as a three sport athlete. After graduation, he entered the military and served as a fighter pilot in World War II. He flew a P-38 for the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater.
After the war, Jerry returned home to attend Washington State College, where he starred on the gridiron. While at WSC, he played in three all-star games and was named Most Valuable Player of the first Hula Bowl in 1947. He was an all-conference running back and the school’s leading scorer in 1948.
After college, Jerry played in the National Football League for both the Los Angeles Rams (1949-1952) and the Philadelphia Eagles (1953-1954). While playing for Philadelphia he had a 1,000-yard rushing season and was a safety on the 1951 Eagles team that won the NFL championship.
After his playing days were over, Jerry moved on to coaching, first at the University of Montana for four seasons before making the jump to the pros, where he coached for 18 years. In the NFL, he was an assistant coach for the Cleveland Browns and head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles (1969-1971). Williams also served as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.
Along the way Jerry also earned his law degree from Temple University, was named to the Washington State University Hall of Fame (1979), the Inland Empire Hall of Fame (1983), the “Century of Greatness” WSU 100-year team, and the All-Time Los Angeles Rams team for the decade of the 1960’s.
Jerry Williams’s North Central H.S. football jersey, #6, was retired in 1986. He died on New Year’s Eve 1998 at the age of 75.