• A 21-year coaching veteran, Paul Williams arrived in Houston after two seasons as defensive backs coach at Illinois.
• Prior to his time at Illinois, spent 10 seasons on staff with current Houston defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio as the defensive backs coach at Miami (2011-15) and Temple (2006-10).• Has developed and sent double-digit secondary players to the NFL including draft picks at Miami, Temple, Western Michigan and Delaware.
• The 2017 season saw Williams’ protégé Bennett Williams earn Freshman All-America honors from ESPN after starting seven games at safety while playing in 11. He was one of four defensive backs under Williams to earn postseason honors in 2017 as Jaylen Dunlap and Stanley Green earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors and Nate Hobbs was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Illinois ranked 12th nationally in allowing only 31 passes of 20+ yards.
• In his first season in Champaign in 2016, Williams guided Dunlap to a breakout year. Dunlap had 11 PBUs to tie for the 10th most in an Illini single season to lead Illinois' pass defense that ranked 16th nationally, allowing only 185.9 passing yards per game.
• Prior to Illinois, Williams spent five seasons at Miami where he helped the Hurricanes reach three straight bowl games from 2013-15, including Miami's first nine-win season in four years in 2013. During the 2014 campaign, Miami’s secondary held opponents to under 200 yards per game (191.4), ranking 17th in the nation.
• The move to Miami came after a successful run at Temple that included a 17-7 record over his last two seasons. Temple won a program single-season record nine straight games in 2009 and followed that with eight more wins in 2010. Defensive back Jaiquawn Jarrett was a All-MAC first-team pick in both seasons before being selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.
• Prior to Temple, Williams helped rebuild Western Michigan to seven wins in 2005 after the team went 1-10 in 2004, the year prior to his arrival.
• During six seasons at his alma mater, Delaware, he coached the secondary (2001-04), receivers (1999-00) and special teams. He helped the Blue Hens to a 15-1 record and the NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 2003.
• Delaware cornerback Sidney Haugabrook was a four-time all-conference honoree and a first-team AFCA and Walter Camp All-American as a senior in 2004. Defensive backs Mike Adams and Ricardo Walker; placekickers Brad Shushman and Scott Collins; return specialist Brett Veach; as well as punters Ryan Bleiler and Chris Steiner were all named to all-league teams under Williams.
• He began his coaching career as a defensive line assistant at Lafayette in 1996. Williams was also a secondary assistant and special teams coach at Penn from 1997-98 before moving back to his alma mater from 1999-2004.
• Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education studies from Delaware in 1996, lettering four years and playing on two Yankee Conference championship teams. He recorded 189 tackles, 27 pass breakups and 10 interceptions for the Blue Hens. Williams set an NCAA I-AA playoff record with a 100-yard interception return against Hofstra in 1995.
• Williams also ran track and set the Delaware record in the indoor 200 meters and won the 200 meters at the 1993 American East Outdoor Championships.
• Williams is married to the former Nicole Heileman.The couple has a son, Austin, and twins, Jaxon and Leah.