Davern Williams is UTC’s defensive line coach. (Photo: Contributed)

You don’t have to be a fan of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mocs football team to recognize UTC’s new defensive line coach Davern Williams.

Williams came to UTC after doing the same job at East Mississippi Community College, the school featured in Netflix’s hit series “Last Chance U.”

“Last Chance U” is a Netflix original series that documents full seasons of junior college EMCC’s football program. The show focuses on highly rated recruits who are on the verge of never playing competitive football again after various problems from their stints at bigger universities.


Williams spent the last four seasons with EMCC before joining UTC.

The Lions posted a record of 42-3 with two NJCAA national championships, in 2014 and 2017, and three MACJC state titles— in2014, 2016 and 2017—while Williams was on staff.

EMCC’s 2015 and 2016 seasons were featured on “Last Chance U.”

“It was all ball to me,” Williams said. “You know, even though you had a camera in your face you still had to make sure you won on Thursday. I ignored [the cameras]. I gotta work; I’ve got a job to do. If I wanted to be on TV I’d go to [Los Angeles] and audition.”

Williams spent most of his life in Alabama, graduating from Troy University in Alabama before playing in the NFL for two seasons.

After his pro days, Williams turned to coaching. He has climbed the latter ever since his first opportunity as defensive line coach at Huntingdon College, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 2006, and he turned his sights to UTC when Mocs head coach Tom Arth was hired before the 2017 season.

“In doing my research, I found out about Coach Arth and who he was,” Williams said. “In the coaching world, he’s got a pretty good name and he’s going to be moving up the ranks here within the next couple years, and I just want to be a part of that. He’s done some good things in the football world, he has a lot of connections. I wanted to get up under his umbrella because he’s an up-and-coming star in the game.”

Williams hiring was announced in January, a few weeks before National Signing Day. Williams has been able to settle in and get acquainted with his players as he acclimates to life in Chattanooga.

“It’s been wonderful,” he said. “The players in my position group are some really good guys. They’re buying into the things that I’m ‘selling’ pretty quickly. As far as coaching staff wise, everybody here has been nothing but great to me. If there’s a question I need to ask, I feel like I can ask anybody…I have nothing but positive things to say about the transition.”

Kyle Yager is a contributing writer. He currently attends UTC, where he is the sports editor for the student newspaper, The University Echo. He has also worked as a scouting intern for the UTC football team and currently works as a runner at Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison PC. Kyle intends to attend law school in the fall. You can reach Kyle at [email protected]