Travis Williams leaves UM after 17 days to become defensive coordinator at UCF

Photo credit: UCF Athletics

Just 17 days after being introduced as the new inside linebackers coach for the Miami Hurricanes, Travis Williams is leaving UM to become the defensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida as announced on Wednesday.

Williams’ hiring at UCF comes two days after the Knights hired former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn as their head coach. Williams previously served as the linebackers coach under Malzahn at Auburn for the past five years.

In his introductory press conference Thursday, Williams said Miami head coach Manny Diaz told him, “You have to take that, it’s a great opportunity.”

“My family and I are excited to now be a part of the UCF family,” Williams said in a press release on UCF’s website. “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.”

Miami Director of Athletics Blake James commented on the possibility of Williams leaving on Wednesday.

“I think any time someone leaves you’re disappointed, the timing is part of the industry that we live in,” James said. “I think you’d be hypocritical to question on one case, but be fine with it when it benefits you with others. I accept that it’s part of the industry. Obviously you’d hate to lose people who are great coaches and great parts of a staff. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to meet Travis yet in person given the COVID situation and lack of ability to really interact within the department. If the rumors are in fact true that he is going to become the defensive coordinator at Central Florida, it’s something that’s disappointing, but I would understand and obviously be supportive as I would with any of our staff that would have an opportunity to improve their position in life and do what’s best for them and their family.”

Williams was hired as part of a slew of new defensive staff coaching hires in January, but his departure marks the fifth defensive staff member to leave the staff since the conclusion of the 2020 season.