COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCF Knights Promote Addison Williams to Defensive Coordinator
By UCF Knights // December 20, 2022
Malzahn: Addison is a rising star in the coaching profession
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Addison Williams, UCF’s defensive backs coach for the last two years and the Knights’ assistant head coach in 2022, has been named defensive coordinator by head coach Gus Malzahn.
“Addison is a rising star in the coaching profession,” said Malzahn. “He is not only a great coach, but a super person. I’m excited to have him running our defense.”
Williams, in his second season with UCF, has helped the Knights turn what once was a youthful secondary into one of the most improved and productive units on the roster. Williams added the title of assistant head coach prior to the 2022 season.
“I’m very blessed to be in this position,” said Williams. “I appreciate Coach Malzahn for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get to work in this new role and continue working with our guys.”
Veteran Knight cornerbacks Davonte Brown (31 career starts), Corey Thornton (26) and Brandon Adams played a noteworthy role in UCF standing third in the American Athletic Conference in team pass efficiency defense in 2022.
That duo also helped UCF rank fifth nationally in red-zone defense. For his work in 2022, Brown claimed honorable mention All-America and AAC Cornerback of the Year honors from Pro Football Network. Thornton was a third-team All-AAC pick by Pro Football Focus, as the Knights posted nine regular-season wins and claimed a second consecutive bowl invitation under Malzahn.
UCF in 2021 ranked seventh nationally in pass efficiency defense (an improvement of 97 spots in NCAA statistical rankings), as the Knights closed the year with six victories in their final seven assignments to finish 9-4.
UCF’s cornerbacks played critical roles as the Knights improved 86 slots in the passing yards allowed category, moving to 35th in 2021 (210.1 yards per game, 89.1 fewer than 2020).
A pair of Williams’ corners received 2021 postseason honors—as sophomores Brown and Thornton both were named third-team All-AAC by PFF. Williams also played a major role enabling talented true freshman Adams to start six late-season games for the Knights.
A former member of Malzahn’s football staff at Auburn and the Coastal Carolina safeties coach in 2020, Williams rejoined Malzahn and his UCF coaching staff on Feb. 22, 2021, and is finishing his second season with the Knights in 2022.
Williams helped the Chanticleers to an unbeaten and record-setting 2020 regular season, an overall 11-1 record and final rankings of 14th in both the Associated Press and poll of coaches (highest in Sun Belt Conference history).
The Chants finished 8-0 in winning the Sun Belt title in 2020. Coastal posted the only undefeated regular season by a football team in Sun Belt history, which included two wins over Football Bowl Subdivision top-25 nationally ranked opponents (eighth-rated BYU and 21st-ranked Louisiana), the first two in program history, and four wins over top-50 opponents.
Williams helped Coastal Carolina rank third nationally in 2020 with 16 interceptions (plus second in overall turnovers gained with 25) and 16th in team pass efficiency defense.
Williams came to Coastal Carolina after one season as an analyst and assistant to Malzahn for Auburn football in 2019. He ventured to Auburn from Furman, where he had been promoted to defensive coordinator in the spring of 2019. At Furman, Williams served as cornerbacks coach for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, helping the Paladins win a share of the 2018 Southern Conference title.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, where he earned all-state and all-conference football honors at Westlake High School, Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in sports and entertainment management from South Carolina in 2010.
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