UTC defensive line coach Davern Williams. (Headshot contributed by UTC Athletics)

By Jason McDaniel, Assistant Sports Editor —

The UTC defensive line needed a new coach for the 2018 season, and Davern Williams, star of “Last Chance U” on Netflix, couldn’t be more excited to play the part.

Williams was one of the coaches for Eastern Mississippi Community College in the Netflix original series, “Last Chance U”. The show follows young men and recruits for EMCC football, many of whom are on the brink of falling out of college entirely, but have elite talent.

Williams was on the show for the first two seasons before landing in Chattanooga. The cameras followed him at East Mississippi Community College, but he says that he gave the cameras no mind as coaching was his focus.

“It was all ball to me,” said Williams. “You know, even though you had a camera in your face you still had to make sure you won on Thursday. I ignored [the cameras]. I gotta work, I’ve got a job to do. If I wanted to be on TV I’d go to LA and audition.”

Williams is extremely excited to take the opportunity to coach under Head Coach Tom Arth.

“In doing my research, I found out about Coach Arth and who he was,” said Williams. “In the coaching world, he’s got a pretty good name and he’s going to be moving up the ranks here within the next couple years, and I just want to be a part of that. He’s done some good things in the football world, he has a lot of connections. I wanted to get up under his umbrella because he’s an up-and-coming star in the game.”

The change from being a coaching star on a Netflix Original show to simply a defensive-line coach in the Southern Conference is pretty drastic, but Williams is confident. The transition from community college to SoCon football is a big one on its own. Nonetheless, he believes he will fit right into UTC’s coaching system, where we has been welcomed since he stepped in the door.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Williams. “The players in my position group are some really good guys. They’re buying into the things that I’m ‘selling’ pretty quickly. As far as coaching staff wise, everybody here has been nothing but great to me. If there’s a question I need to ask, I feel like I can ask anybody…I have nothing but positive things to say about the transition.”

Williams is in a strong position to shake things up not only in Chattanooga but also in the SoCon if he can add strength to the Mocs’ defense. Chattanooga ranked ninth out of nine in sacking the other team’s quarterback in the 2017 season. Still, many other parts of UTC’s defense (behind the line) ranked high in categories such as interceptions and pass defense. If Coach Williams can execute what he plans to for our defensive line, the Mocs’ defense may be something to behold in 2018.

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