WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- The Washington Nationals announced Thursday the hiring of Matt Williams as the club's new manager.

Williams, who comes to Washington after spending the previous four seasons on Kirk Gibson's coaching staff in Arizona, replaces the recently retired Davey Johnson.

"I feel privileged and honored to be a part of this team," Williams said in a statement. "It's a wonderful group of guys and a great organization. I'm simply here to help take us to the next level."

Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo said Williams' accomplishments as a player and coach helped set him apart as a candidate.

"I could not be more pleased to welcome Matt Williams and his family to the Nationals and the Nation's Capital," Rizzo said in a statement. "In some ways, my interview with Matt began during our days together in Arizona, where his undeniable toughness, attention to detail and intensity established a foundation for a Diamondbacks expansion franchise that reached the postseason in its second season and won a World Series two years later.

"All these years later, Matt's preparedness for this position, knowledge of our roster, system and league set him apart. He is a fierce competitor with a progressive view of the game."

In 17 big league seasons, Williams hit .268 (1878-for-7000) with 338 doubles, 378 homers, 1218 RBI and 997 runs scored in 1866 games spanning 17 seasons with the Diamondbacks (1998-03), Indians (1997) and Giants (1987-96).

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