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Ricky Williams returns to college football…as a coach

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University of the Incarnate Word new assistant football coach Ricky Williams, left, talks with players during an …

Ricky Williams' long, interesting football resume has another line on it after Thursday: Coach.

The 1998 Heisman winner and Longhorn great was hired by the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio as an assistant coach, where he will work primarily with the running backs. As a two-time Doak Walker award winner as the nation's best running back and the number two all-time career rushing leader, Williams is more than qualified for the role.

"This my first experience coaching, but of course," said Williams. "Even when I was a kid growing up, I liked football players, but the people on the field that I idolized were actually the coaches."

Cardinals head coach Larry Kennan was impressed with the legendary back and happily welcomed him into the fold. It probably didn't hurt Williams' cause that both Mack Brown and Nick Saban wrote him letters of recommendation for the job.

''He's a fabulous man and was a great, great football player,'' Kennan said. ''He'll be a wonderful mentor for our guys both as a running backs coach and a guy who's lived a lot of life and has got some wisdom. That's what we do as coaches; we impart our wisdom to them.''

The Cardinals - with an enrollment of over 9,000 students - are making the transition from NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference to NCAA Division I and the Southland Conference. Due to his broadcasting obligations, Williams will miss some games, but plans on helping the players as much as possible during the week at practice. But since their first game is on a Thursday, he'll join the squad on their nine-hour bus ride to face Central Arkansas.

''I don't have anything to prove to these kids,'' Williams said. ''I just want to show them that I'm here to help them be as good as they want to be. That's not just on the football field, that's also off the football field.''

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