WATCH: Former Auburn Tiger Travis Williams Named UCF’s Defensive Coordinator
By UCF Knights // February 18, 2021
MALZAHN: Travis was a major reason for the success of our defense at Auburn
ABOVE VIDEO: Travis Williams – UCF DC Introductory Presser
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Travis Williams, the former Auburn co-defensive coordinator, linebacker coach, and recruiting coordinator has been named UCF’s defensive coordinator by new Knight head coach Gus Malzahn.
“My family and I are excited to now be a part of the UCF family,” Williams said.
“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to serve the young men in our program. I can’t wait to work alongside Coach Malzahn again. He is a great man and a great coach.”
As part of the defense, Auburn finished in the top 17 in the nation in scoring defense in four of the last five seasons. Williams also mentored All-Southeastern Conference linebackers in three consecutive seasons.
“We’re excited to bring in one of the best young defensive minds in all of college football to be our defensive coordinator,” Malzahn said.
“Travis was a major reason for the success of our defense at Auburn. He’s not only a great coach, but a great person, and he is tremendous at developing relationships with his players. Travis is one of the rising stars in this profession.”
During Williams’ five seasons as linebacker coach under Malzahn, the Tigers ranked fifth nationally in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, allowing only 54 rushing TDs (eight in 2016, nine in 2018).
In 2020, Tiger linebacker Zakoby McClain led the SEC in tackles with 113. In 2019, Auburn’s defense ranked eighth nationally in both red-zone and third-down defense, allowing only 19.5 points per game against a schedule that featured six 11-win opponents.
The 2018 Auburn defense ranked 14th nationally in scoring defense (19.2) and allowed only those nine rushing touchdowns. The Tigers ranked in the top 20 nationally in sacks (38) and tackles for loss (96) and were ninth nationally with three interception returns for touchdowns.
In 2017, SEC West champion Auburn ranked 14th in the country in total defense (319.4) and 12th in scoring defense (18.5), allowing just 4.67 yards per play, eighth-best nationally. Senior linebacker Tre’ Williams earned second-team all-SEC honors.
In 2016, the Tigers ranked 11th in red-zone defense and 28th in total defense (361.9), an improvement of 43 spots over the previous season, and held eight consecutive opponents without a rushing TD, the longest season streak at Auburn since 1957.
Williams signed with Auburn in 2001 and earned all-SEC honors in 2004 and 2005 (first-team selection in 2004).
He led Auburn in tackles (80) during the 2004 undefeated season; he was second in tackles in 2005 (68) and third in 2003 (67). He won the Pat Dye Leadership Award on defense in 2004 and 2005.
Williams played for the NFL Atlanta Falcons during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, before beginning his coaching career.
Williams was promoted to linebacker coach at his alma mater prior to the 2016 season, after holding various roles on the Tigers’ football support staff. While continuing to coach linebackers, he became co-defensive coordinator in 2019 and added the role of recruiting coordinator in 2020.
Williams earned his bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice from Auburn in 2005 and received a master’s degree in adult education from Auburn in 2011.
A native of Columbia, South Carolina, Williams and his wife Jeanine, an Auburn graduate, have three daughters–Tru, Reign and Brave.
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