Tuesday, May 16, 2017

McCullum tapped as new FAMU head men's basketball coach

Florida A&M University (FAMU) announced today that former University of Oregon men's basketball assistant Robert McCullum will be the school's next head men's basketball coach.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, McCullum comes to FAMU after spending the last three seasons at Oregon, which made its first trip to the Final Four in 78 years this past April.

McCullum formerly held the head coach position for the Western Michigan and the University of South Florida men’s basketball programs.

Milton Overton Jr., FAMU's director of Athletics, says he's excited about the possibilities for Rattler basketball under McCullum's leadership. 

“Coach McCullum has a successful history of recruiting Final Four-level talent in two of the states important to FAMU's Basketball success – Georgia and Florida.,” Overton said. “McCullum's international connections will allow FAMU to expand its recruiting base globally and provide professional basketball opportunities for our exiting players.”

He added, “McCullum has also demonstrated success winning in a low resource mid-level college conference while graduating players and raising money for his program. Coach McCullum has a proven ability to develop players to reach their full basketball and academic potential. These key attributes make him the best fit and right man to lead the FAMU men's basketball program. ”

McCullum outlined his plan to get the team back to championship caliber. 

“First and foremost my job, as I see it, is to help each student-athlete become a well-rounded graduate of FAMU, prepared for the challenges of the 21st-century,” he said. “We will play extremely hard, and with a level of toughness that our opponents will always know they're in for a fight. Simply put, I want to be known as the ‘Fighting Rattlers.'”

At both Western Michigan and South Florida, he implemented class attendance policies and procedures that resulted in dramatic improvements in academic performance, earning both schools recognition on the conference level for highest team GPA and individual academic achievement.

McCullum has had an international impact on the game, serving as the Nigerian National Team head coach in 2007, which posted a 5-1 record at the All-Africa Games.

In addition to his time as Nigeria's head coach, he was an assistant for the Forshan Long Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association (2011-12), directed the first professional player camp in Russia from 2012-13 (Revolution Basketball Camp in Kazan) and was the director of the NBA's “Train the Trainer” program in Johannesburg, South Africa.

His coaching history also includes stops at San Francisco (2007-08), Central Florida (2009-10) and Georgia Tech (2010-11).

The new FAMU coach also served two stints as an assistant at South Alabama (1982-83 and 1984-87) and one year at Samford (1983-84). He moved on to Southern Illinois from 1987-89, where he helped the Salukis achieve a 20-win season and the school's first post-season bid in 11 years.

The Birmingham, Alabama native earned his bachelor's degree at Birmingham Southern College in 1976 and his master's degree from Alabama State in 1980.

He played two seasons at Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida, where he was the team captain as a sophomore and earned his associate's degree there in 1974.

He and his wife Cheryl have two children, Richelle and Rashid.

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