Founded in 1693 by the British monarchy as the second oldest university in the country, the College of William & Mary has always played a pivotal role in major events throughout the course of United States history. For example, seven signers of the United States’ Declaration of Independence (including its writer) were William & Mary alums.
But the university isn’t only interested in helping write the country’s history books. To the surprise of many, W&M also boasts an 129-year old athletics program, which since the very beginning has produced outstanding scholar athletes who have gone on to impact the world in very significant ways.
What do 2x FIFA World Cup champion and former U.S. Soccer Head Coach Jill Ellis (W&M ’87), world-renowned comedian and television host Jon Stewart (’84), and the NFL’s youngest-ever Super Bowl winning Head Coach Mike Tomlin (’95) all have in common? That’s right, they’re all William & Mary student athlete graduates.
In fact, just today, two William & Mary alums were named to prominent positions within the National Football League: Alan Williams, a former W&M running back, was named the Chicago Bears’ next Defensive Coordinator; Joe Brady, a former W&M wide receiver, was named the Buffalo Bills’ next Quarterbacks Coach (joining another W&M alum in Sean McDermott, the current Head Coach of the Buffalo Bills).
All this got us at the WMSB thinking…just how many William & Mary alums are currently working in the NFL as either a coach or a player? Quick hint: there are far more than any sports fan would ever expect. And for a small, colonial school best known for its elite academics, we’ll have you know that the Tribe is doing just fine in the world of professional football.
W&M Football Alum, Safety (’98) & W&M Graduate Assistant (1998)
Current Role: Buffalo Bills Head Coach (2017-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Wide Receiver (’95)
Current Role: Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach (2007-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Safety (’16)
Current Role: Chicago Bears Safety & Special Teams (2016-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Running Back (’92)
Current Role: Defensive Coordinator, Chicago Bears (2022-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Running Back (’76) & W&M Grad Assistant/WR Coach/QB Coach (1976-1979)
Current Role: New England Patriots Running Backs Coach (2002-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Linebacker (’16)
Current Role: Indianapolis Colts Long Snapper & Special Teams (2016-present)
W&M Football Alum, Wide Receiver (’13) & W&M Linebackers Coach (2013-2014)
Current Role: Buffalo Bills Quarterbacks Coach (2022-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Defensive Tackle (’20)
Current Role: New England Patriots Practice Squad (2020-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Wide Receiver (’75)
Current Role: Cincinnati Bengals Senior Defensive Assistant (2019-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Wide Receiver (’19)
Current Role: Miami Dolphins Kick/Punt Returner & Special Teams (2022-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Safety (’10)
Current Role: Cincinnati Bengals Secondary/Safeties Coach (2015-Present)
W&M Football Alum, Quarterback (’74), W&M Running Backs Coach (1980-1982), & W&M Offensive Coordinator (2013-2016)
Current Role: Cleveland Browns Senior Offensive Assistant (2020-Present)
If you think we missed anyone, let us know on social media in the comments. LET’S GO TRIBE!
One thought on “How Many W&M Alums are Currently in the NFL?”
Ivan Fears was my Teammate, Classmate, Coach, And Neighbor Congrats on a great career.