The Grambling State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced on Tuesday the field inside of the Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium will be named after Grambling football legends Doug Williams and James “Shack” Harris during the homecoming game versus Alabama A&M University on Oct. 14.
The field will officially become James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams Field at Eddie Robinson Memorial Stadium.
“It is our pleasure to honor two of the greatest members of the Grambling State football family,” said Trayvean Scott, Grambling’s vice president of intercollegiate athletics. “These two men have long represented what it means to be a G-Man and have achieved so much while breaking down barriers that few thought were attainable during their playing days. We can’t wait to add another brick to the castle of greatness they’ve built.”
Grambling President Richard “Rick” Gallot said of Harris and Williams “epitomize greatness at the highest level of football competition.”
“They both deserve to be honored by Grambling State University in this way,” Gallot said.
Williams was a two-time Black College Football Player of the Year while at Grambling, amassing a 36-7 record from 1974-1977 and winning three SWAC championships.
Williams made history when he became the first Black quarterback to win the Super Bowl in 1988 with the then-Washington Redskins. He had a previous stint in the NFL as a quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Williams is a former winning head coach of the Grambling football team. He presently works as an executive with the Washington Commanders.
“This is so surreal for me,” Williams said. “This is such an honor to have James ‘Shack’ Harris and my name plastered on a field in Eddie Robinson stadium. This is something that will stand time for my kids and grandkids to see.”
Harris played for Grambling from 1965-1968 and lead GSU to four SWAC championships. In 1969, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills to become the first Black player to start a season at quarterback in the NFL.
In 1974, he led the Los Angeles Rams to an NFC West title and their first playoff victory since 1951. He became the first Black quarterback to start a conference championship game.
After his playing days, he served in executive capacities with the Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Detroit Lions.
Both Harris and Williams are members of various Hall of Fames for the sport. In 2009, the pair collaborated to create the Black College Hall of Fame to preserve the history and honor the greatest football players, coaches and contributors from HBCUs.