Jackson State hires NBA champion, Jackson, Mississippi native Mo Williams as Men’s Basketball coach

Mo Williams (courtesy Jackson State Athletics)

NBA Champion and Jackson native Mo Williams has been named Jackson State University men’s basketball coach, Vice President / Director of Athletics Ashley Robinson announced.

The Jackson native and former Murrah High School star returns home as head coach of the Tigers after spending the previous two seasons as head coach at Alabama State University. In his final season, the Hornets ranked in the top four in the SWAC in scoring, assists, three-point field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and blocked shots.

Williams entered the coaching ranks at Cal-State Northridge as an assistant coach under his former college coach Mark Gottfried, who Williams played for at Alabama. Cal State Northridge led the Big West Conference in scoring in both seasons, setting school records for three-point field goals made, field goals made, fewest turnovers, and blocked shots.

Williams spent 14 years in the NBA, averaging more than 13 points and nearly five assists per game. Drafted by Utah, Williams would play his rookie season with the Jazz before spending the next four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks. Williams played three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers (2008-11) where he teamed up with LeBron James and helped the Cavs post a league-best 66 wins in 2008-09 and a berth in the NBA Finals. Williams was selected to the NBA All-Star Game in his first season with Cleveland.

After stints with the Los Angeles Clippers (2011-12), Portland Trail Blazers (2013-14), Minnesota Timberwolves (2014-15) and Charlotte Hornets (2015), Williams returned to Cleveland for the 2015-16 campaign as the Cavaliers completed an historic comeback from a three-game-to-one deficit to defeat the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA Championship.

Williams was named Mr. Basketball during his senior year at Murrah High in 2001, and also earned McDonald’s All-America and Parade Magazine third-team All-America honors. He went on to play two seasons at Alabama, averaging more than 13 points and four assists per game. Williams was named Sporting News National Freshman of the Year and Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year in 2002, helping lead The Tide to the SEC regular season championship and NCAA Tournament appearance. Williams also earned third-team all-conference accolades in 2003 before turning pro after his sophomore year.

Williams has seven sons – Kydarrius, Maurice, Michael, Mason, Maxwell, Asa, and Ezra. A native of Jackson (Miss.), he is the son of Griceldia and Isaiah Williams and has three siblings – Marcia, Michael (a West Point graduate) and Montrell. Williams is married to his wife, Antonia. 

COURTESY JACKSON STATE ATHLETICS

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