HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame announced their head coaches for the 2021 Polynesian Bowl — selecting a pair of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks to lead one hundred of the nation’s top high school prospects.
Doug Williams and Trent Dilfer have been selected to coach team Mauka and Makai, respectively.
Dilfer played 14 years in the NFL and is currently the head coach of the Elite 11 quarterback camp, while Williams was the first African American quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl for the Washington Football Team followed by a successful coaching career.
Williams is looking forward to being apart of the fifth edition of the Polynesian Bowl.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity to be a part of this event, the thing about it, this is something that has been going on for years,” Williams told Hawaii News Now. “To be a part of the history on the sideline with the coaches that had the opportunity to coach there and look over to Trent Dilfer on the other side.”
With a lot of states not allowing prep football to be played until the spring, games like the Polynesian Bowl are important for kids to get the exposure they need to get to the next level.
“An all star game is big, you’ve got a game like this, you’ve got the best of the best, it’s a good place for colleges to get tape, get film or what have you, get their information on the guys,” Williams said. “So all star games play a big part in getting guys an opportunity to go to college.”
This is not Williams' first trip to Aloha Stadium, having played Hawaii back in the 1970′s while at Grambling State University.
In his return, Williams is looking forward to experiencing all that the islands has to offer, including the haka — even though it’s just as a spectator.
“I don’t know if I can do the dance that they do when they warm up, I don’t think I’ll be able to move as fast as they move, but you know what, it’s interesting to see it happen and I know i’m going to enjoy it and I’m looking forward to it.” Williams said.
The Super Bowl XXII MVP is joining a group of Polynesian Bowl coaches that have had an impact on his life in some way.
“Coach Vermeil, you know when I was in Tampa we upset him in order to go to the championship game, June Jones, I remember when I was a rookie and June was in Atlanta on the sidelines as the backup quarterback to Bartkowski, I’ll never forget what he told me after the game, he walked to me and told me I should’ve been the number one pick in the draft and we’ve remained friends since that time.” Williams said. “I love Steve Spurrier, when I was in Tampa, he lived around the corner from me, his little girls used to ride their bicycles in my driveway, so basically, to be in that company, to have this opportunity, you’ve got to be grateful.”
This year’s coaching match up between Williams and Dilfer will bring both teams together as one — with the two being more alike than one would think.
“The thing about Trent and myself, we’ve both gone down similar paths, we both were drafted by the Tampa bay buccaneers, we both wore number 12, we both left Tampa Bay and ended up winning a super bowl, so we’ve got a lot in common.” Williams said. “I think this year’s match up with him on the other side and me on the other side is good for the camaraderie of the game and just watching him and being a part of this.”
However, coach Williams was not shy in voicing his opinion on who would win this years Polynesian Bowl.
“We are going to kick his behind, I’m just going to tell you that right now and you can tell him that, because what am I?” Williams said. “I’m the mountain right, I’m Mauka right, yeah he’s down in the valley, we’re tough, we’re strong and standing tall, we’re winning.”
You can catch Coach Williams and team Mauka, face off against Coach Dilfer and Team Makai when the 2021 Polynesian Bowl kicks off from Aloha Stadium on January 23, 2021 on CBS Sports Network.