Richard Williamson, who stepped in as the Bucs' head coach in 1990-91 and spent another 15 seasons as an assistant with the Panthers, died Monday after a heart attack in Charlotte, N.C. He was 74.
Mr. Williamson, who spent four seasons as Bucs receivers coach, stepped in as interim head coach for the final three games of 1990 after Ray Perkins was fired, going 1-2. He had the interim tag removed for 1991, finishing 3-13 and fired after the season, replaced by Sam Wyche.
"We are very saddened by the loss of Richard Williamson," the team said in a statement. "During his career, including his five seasons as a member of our organization, Richard distinguished himself as a very good coach and even better person. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family."
Mr. Williamson played receiver for Bear Bryant at Alabama, catching Joe Namath's first touchdown there and staying with the Crimson Tide as an assistant for their national title teams in 1964 and '65. After his time with the Bucs, he joined the Panthers, retiring after the 2009 season. "One of his biggest assets was that he played the position," said ex-Bucs and Panthers receiver Mark Carrier, who played for Mr. Williamson for nine of his 12 seasons. "He was very precise in what he did, very meticulous. … He was very instrumental in developing me."
Times senior researcher John Martin contributed to this report.