Inducted February 7, 2004
Keith Williams was one of the most electrifying runners in SMS football history. His career from 1982 to 1985 coincided with the first four years SMS competed in Division I-AA. A native of St. Louis, Williams was a four-year letterman at halfback for the Bears of coach Rich Johanningmeier. Williams started 31 of 39 SMS games. A two-time Gateway all-conference choice, Williams set an SMS rushing record with 1,201 yards as a senior, to push his career rushing total to 2,694 yards. Both his season and career figures are still the second best totals on the SMS books. Nationally-ranked in three statistical categories his senior season, Williams also hauled in almost a thousand yards in passes and had over 500 kickoff return yards for a career all-purpose yardage figure of 4,176, also still second best all-time at SMS. Williams averaged 46.4 yards a kickoff return his final year. He was SMS or Gateway Player of the Week 11 times in his career. He scored touchdowns a record-tying eight weeks in a row and rushed for 100 yards in six of 11 games in 1985. He recorded three of the top five single game all-purpose yardage totals in SMS history with 329 against Illinois State, 317 against Nicholls State and 281 in a five-touchdown explosion at Truman State. His senior season saw him set an SMS record with seven touchdown receptions. Williams played parts of five seasons in the National Football league, seeing action with the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers. He began work for the St. Louis Fire Department and helped the St. Louis team to victory in a national competition among police officers and fire fighters in 16 major cities in 2002 which aired on NBC’s TODAY Show.