With Super Bowl LVI just over a week away, we are reminded of our own Richmond County two-time Super Bowl champion, Hamlet native, Perry Lamar Williams. After graduating from Richmond Senior High School in 1979, Williams received a dual scholarship to North Carolina State University for track and field and football. His standout collegiate football performance, followed by an accomplished career in the NFL, often overshadows his other athletic passion of running track and field.
Williams was recognized as All American in both sports and qualified for the 1980 Olympics when he broke a world record in the 200 meter sprint, outranking Olympian Carl Lewis, but he did not get to compete since no Americans participated in the 1980 Olympics, due to then-President Jimmy Carter ordering a boycott of the Games. He still holds several records at NCSU, including ACC individual champion in 1982 for sprinting 200 meters in 21.03 seconds and an All-American in 1983 for indoor track 55 meters with a time of 6.22 seconds.
He began his 10-year career with the New York Giants after being drafted in 1983. As a Giant, he played in 150 games, 11 playoff games, and won two Super Bowls (XXI- 1987 and XXV-1991).
Williams received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham in 1987 through the NFL degree completion program and also holds a master’s in Public Administration.
Williams spent 22 years as an adjunct professor, administrator, and lecturer at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He also served as a director of outreach programs for the New York Giants Degree Completion Program at Farleigh Dickinson University during his tenure at the school. Currently, Williams is the director of Sports Management at Long Island University Post.
Williams is following a personal mission to touch and transform the lives of young people through a multitude of channels, including as a college instructor, a motivational speaker, a camp director, a curriculum designer, and a spokesperson for Beyond the Laces, a collaboration between himself and Bob Salomon, who has written a children’s book and created a movement by that same name. Beyond the Laces is intended to inspire children and families to face life’s challenges and obstacles courageously. It promotes the importance of kindness and the message that persistence and faith can overcome any adversity.
In March of 2021, Williams was named was appointed by Suffolk County (New York) Sheriff Dr. Errol Toulon Jr. as a special deputy. As a special deputy, Williams will be teaming with the department to support their youth initiatives in encouraging the youth to study and work hard to achieve their dreams.
Although he has lived in the New Jersey/ New York area for the past 35 years, Willians has returned to his home in Hamlet every year and participated in multiple supports for the young people in Richmond County and collaborated with the local school system.
Join us today in celebrating our very own two-time Super Bowl Champion for his amazing accomplishments on and off the football field, his dedication to inspiring the youth to succeed, and his lifelong commitment to education!
Meghann Lambeth is executive director of the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority.
(Editor’s Note: Visit Richmond County is highlighting prominent local African Americans each day in February in honor of Black History Month. Previous individuals featured include late Richmond County sheriff James E. Clemmons Jr., late state representative Harrison Ingram Quick, dancer and makeup artist Ciarra Kelley, Ellerbe Mayor Brenda Capel, two-time Super Bowl champion Perry Williams, Bishop Arlester Simpson of Ellerbe, Richmond County School Board member Ronald Tillman, and educator Melvin Ingram. See the Visit Richmond County Facebook page for more on these outstanding individuals. This post was orginally published Feb. 5.)