Showing posts with label athletics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label athletics. Show all posts

Friday, October 31, 2014

Winslow booed at FAMU Homecoming Convocation

FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow, Sr.’s disrespectful treatment of Rattler student-athletes came back to bite him at the 2014 FAMU Homecoming Convocation.

When Winslow took the podium to introduce the FAMU football team (something that is normally done by the head coach), hundreds of students in the audience started booing him. The AD tried to laugh off the angry reactions at first.

“A little louder,” he said with a big smile.

That did not amuse the upset students, who took him up on his sarcastic request and began to boo at an even higher volume.

“Have your tickets and bring that energy to the game tomorrow,” Winslow said.

Winslow then tried to go forward with the team introduction, but the boos drowned out his voice. He stopped and stood quietly for several minutes as the boos went on. By that time, the smile was gone.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winslow puts his foot in his mouth, again, with childish remarks to student-athletes

Back in June, new FAMU athletic director Kellen Winslow showed his ignorance of the recent history of FAMU’s athletics department in a set of comments he made before the 220 Quarterback Club.

“It’s broken,” Winslow said of the FAMU athletics department. “It can’t be fixed. Tear it down, start over build it the right way.”

The statement showed that Winslow had not taken the time to find out what really happed to the athletics division.

Twelve years ago, FAMU had one of the best financially-managed athletic departments among all the nation’s historically black colleges and universities. Ken Riley, who started serving as FAMU’s athletic director in 1994, left the department with an estimated surplus of more than $3M when he stepped down in 2002.

FAMU’s remaining assistant football coaches receive 60-day non-renewal notices

Corey Fuller and Quinn Gray talking with a Denver Broncos scout during FAMU Pro Day
Yesterday, in addition to terminating Head Football Coach Earl Holmes, the FAMU athletics department also gave 60-day non-renewal notices to the eight remaining assistant coaches.

Interim Head Coach Corey Fuller said he still plans to work hard throughout the rest of the season.

“It’s not the best situation to be the interim coach in,” Fuller said in an interview with WCTV-6. “You basically know that you're fired and that's just reality. But I’m going to work like I'm not fired because that's me, I’m a worker.”
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Jimmy Miller, vice president for communication and external affairs at FAMU, said the university had to make a change in order to have a new head coach in place in time to make inroads in recruiting before the February 2015 signing day.”

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Holmes out as head coach, Fuller to take over

FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow, this afternoon, confirmed that Rattler Head Football Coach Earl Holmes has been fired. Corey Fuller, cornerbacks coach, has been named interim head coach.

Over nearly two seasons as head coach, Holmes had amassed a record of six wins against 16 losses.

Holmes' firing comes at an odd time with the Rattlers showing steady improvement, winning two out of their last three games, and with homecoming just four days away.

The Rattlers, seventh place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), have just four games remaining on the season. With two conference losses, the team is an extreme long shot in the race for the conference championship. FAMU is also ineligible for post season play due to National Collegiate Athletic Association Academic Progress Rate sanctions.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Quinn Gray relieved of offensive coordinator duties, will stay on as quarterbacks coach

Nine days after accepting the resignation of his kicking and special teams coach, Rattler Head Football Coach Earl Holmes announced another big shakeup to his staff.

Holmes has relieved Quinn Gray of his offensive coordinator duties. Gray will remain on the staff as the quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator. Receivers Coach Ernie Mills, who took on special teams coaching responsibilities after Juan Vasquez resigned from that job, will now take charge of the play-calling role.

“It’s not saying that Coach Gray was the problem,” Holmes said in a quote published by the Tallahassee Democrat. “That’s not what I’m saying at all, but what I'm saying is we need to bring a spark to the team, especially the offense…Coach Gray did an outstanding job for us but at the same time we've got to find a way to put some points on the board. I thought it was about change and we are going to move forward.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Juan Vasquez steps down as FAMU football’s kicking and special teams coach

Two days after the FAMU football team’s sixth consecutive loss at Bragg Memorial Stadium, its kicking and special teams coach submitted his resignation.

Juan Vasquez, who has served in the position since 2008, said he decided to take his career in a different direction.

“I had some opportunities came up that were beneficial to me and I thought that was the best decision for me to make,” Vasquez said in a quote published by the Tallahassee Democrat. “It had nothing to do with [Head Coach Earl Holmes] or the team. It’s just that the opportunity came up in the middle of the football season.”

Holmes, who accepted the two-week notice, told the newspaper that he did not terminate Vasquez.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Winslow invites Rattler fans to new North End Zone Club

At today’s home game opener in Bragg Memorial Stadium, the FAMU Department of Athletics will unveil a brand new feature, a “premium experience.”

On an appearance at the WTXL morning show, FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow invited Rattler fans to the join the “North End Zone Club.”

“It’s going to be a climate-controlled environment where you can come and have an adult beverage…and then you’ll be able to see the game from the end zone perspective. Food, beverage, and a climate-controlled shelter environment. It’s going to be a great experience,” Winslow said.

According to a FAMU athletics press release, the North End Zone Club will also show the game live on flat screen televisions, offer a catered buffet, and provide the option of open-air patio seating.

Season ticket holders receive discounted rates. Passes can be purchased at the Rattler Ticket Office.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FAMU AD address controversial comments, new initiatives

Late last week, Kellen Winslow visited the Palm Beach Post for an interview about his first months on the job as FAMU’s new athletic director. He revisited his controversial statement that claimed that the FAMU Department of Athletics “can’t be fixed.”

At one of your first public appearances in Tallahassee this summer you said that the FAMU athletic department was beyond fixing and what it really needed was to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. Is that the way you meant that to come out?

In just talking to our other partners on campus, athletics was so isolated. It was really just out there by itself. What I’m trying to do, and what the staff I’m putting together is trying to do, is we want to go from being the worst department on campus to the best department on campus. I think the best thing I’ve done since I’ve been there is I’ve painted three walls orange. All the walls were tan. They were old, beige, might have been painted in 1975. The carpets were old with tears in it. It wasn’t a place to do business. I asked people what do you think of our orange wall? And they’d said, ‘Well, it’s bright,’ or some would come in and say ‘Wow.’ And I’d say, ‘Thank you.’ It’s a reaction. I didn’t have that reaction when I walked in here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Budget cuts silence the Voice of the Rattlers, Keith Miles

In another sad moment for FAMU, the university’s athletic department confirmed Wednesday that it has parted ways with Keith Miles, the Voice of Rattlers.

“I had a feeling. It’s a new administration," Miles told WCTV-6.

Miles served as the play-by-play announcer for FAMU football for 30 years.

WCTV-6 reported that FAMU Sports Information Director Vaughn Wilson “says the move to a new play by play announcer - and a smaller broadcast team - will allow the university to save more than $20,000 a year and give it access to more ad revenue too.”

Miles told the Tallahassee Democrat that his production company, Vantage Radio, earned $73,000 annually for its broadcasting work on FAMU football games. For the past five years, his contract was with the Rattler Boosters, which paid him with revenue it made from advertising sales. Prior to that, Miles had an agreement with the Department of Athletics.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

FAMU Athletics hires new assistant AD for NCAA compliance

The FAMU Athletics Department has appointed E. D’Wayne Robinson to serve as the new assistant athletic director for NCAA compliance.

Robinson, a highly-seasoned veteran in the field of athletic administration, will oversee the rules compliance operations within the FAMU Athletic Department; coordinate efforts with the department’s Academic Support Services arm to monitor and facilitate student-athlete retention, scholastic success, and graduation.

He will also spearhead the rules education efforts by FAMU Athletics for student-athletes, coaches and staff, as well as for other critical departments within the university.

This will be Robinson’s second tour of duty with FAMU Athletics, as he served as associate director of athletics for academic support services from 2006 to 2008.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FAMU men’s basketball announces new assistant coaches

New FAMU head men’s basketball coach Byron Samuels has formally announced the appointments of Bruce M. Martin (left), Aaron Holmes (center), and Donald L. Anderson (right) to his coaching staff.

Bruce M. Martin, who has served as a head coach both on the collegiate level at Davis & Elkins College in Ohio (2009-13), and in the European League with the Ockelbo (Sweden) Basketball Club (2004-05), comes to FAMU from the University of Wyoming, where he spent the past school year as an academic advisement coordinator for Men’s Basketball and Swimming and Diving.

His resume includes assistant coaching tours at the University of Texas-Pan American (2007-09); at his alma mater, Clemson University (1998-2003); at the University of Wyoming (1997-98); and Francis Marion University (1995-97).

Thursday, August 07, 2014

FAMU Athletics appoints Marc Small new cross country and track & field head coach

The FAMU Athletics Department has appointed Marc Small as the new head men’s cross country and track and field coach. He began his role on July 24.

Small comes to FAMU from Lakeland College in Wisconsin, where he served as the head coach of the men’s and women’s track & field teams for the past two years – his first head coaching stint after seven years as an assistant coach.

Last year (2013-14), Small added the Muskies’ men's and women's cross country teams, to his overall coaching responsibilities.

A native of Akron, Ohio, Small began his coaching career at Lake Superior State (Mich.) University, spending three years as a track & field assistant and strength and conditioning coordinator.

From Lake Superior State he went to Tiffin University, his alma mater, where he helped coach athletes to 70 national qualifying marks, more than 40 all-conference athletes, as well as 17 All-Americans.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Mangum to review suspension of FAMU men's tennis and golf teams

The temporary suspension of the FAMU men’s tennis and men’s golf programs is now under review by President Elmira Mangum.

Athletic Director Kellen Winslow recently suspended the programs due to a $7 million deficit accumulated by the Athletic Department over the past several years and a projected operating deficit for 2014-2015.

Commenting on the decision to temporarily suspend the programs, Mangum said, “I am extremely supportive of and committed to the bold and necessary leadership steps that Athletic Director Winslow is taking to restructure and restore the program.”

Mangum has identified a need to consult with university stakeholders regarding the decision. Discussions with focus groups and supporters will include a review of alternative options geared toward allowing the university to permanently lift the suspension.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

2002: Ken Riley leaves FAMU athletic department with $3M surplus

Twelve years ago, FAMU had one of the best financially-managed athletic departments among all the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.

Ken Riley, who started serving as FAMU’s athletic director in 1994, left the department with an estimated surplus of more than $3M when he stepped down in 2002.

Roosevelt Wilson, who served as FAMU’s athletic director from 1980 to 1985, called attention to the following facts in an editorial he published in his Capital Outlook newspaper. It also ran in the December 8-December 14, 2004 edition of the Miami Times:  

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Wayne Angel, MEAC X-C’s “Most Outstanding Coach,” reportedly denied a contract renewal

Coach Wayne Angel at the 2013 Bobby Lang Invite
Last year, FAMU’s Wayne Angel received his second consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s (MEAC) “Most Outstanding Coach” award for men’s cross country. Now, a published report says he claims that the university has declined to extend his employment.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Angel said his annual contract was not renewed.”

Angel was awarded the MEAC “Most Outstanding Coach” honor in 2013 and 2012 when his teams won the conference title during both of those years.

Since joining FAMU in 2010, Angel has also coached the men’s track team.  

This year, the Rattler men finished fourth in the MEAC Indoor Championship and tied for fifth at the MEAC Outdoor Championship.

For the 2013 season, men’s track placed fifth at the MEAC Indoor Championship and seventh in the MEAC Outdoor Championship.

Friday, June 27, 2014

FAMU suspends men’s tennis and men’s golf teams

The FAMU Department of Athletics announced Wednesday afternoon that it will suspend the men’s tennis and men’s golf programs as part of the institution’s ongoing efforts to address the operational deficit in athletics, as well as Title IX disparities.

“Clearly we would rather not have taken such action,” said FAMU Athletics Director Kellen Winslow. “However, our current fiscal situation makes it imperative for us to move in this direction. As we continue to support our student-athletes with scholarships in pursuit of their academic goals, we will continue to seek ways to return them to athletic competition.”

All scholarship commitments to current student-athletes will be honored for the 2014-15 school year.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Winslow on FAMU athletics: “It can't be fixed. Tear it down, start over”

Kellen Winslow, FAMU’s new athletic director, pulled no punches when he was asked to address the state of the university’s sports programs earlier this week.

“It's broken,” Winslow said of the FAMU athletics department. “It can’t be fixed. Tear it down, start over build it the right way.”

Winslow made the comments at the weekly luncheon of the 220 Quarterback Club, a support organization for the Rattler football team.

Back in May, the Tallahassee Democrat reported that FAMU athletics expects to finish with about a $1.4M deficit at the end of this fiscal year (June 30).

Sunday, June 15, 2014

FAMU football recognized for improved APR

The FAMU football team has received special recognition for their improvement in the classroom for the 2012-2013 season from the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

The award was presented to FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow at the annual NACDA meeting, held recently in Orlando, Fla. The Rattlers were recognized in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) for showing the greatest improvement in Academic Progress Rate (APR) for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

"Our association is pleased to present these awards to spotlight one true mission of all FCS programs – embracing the academic progress of their student-athletes, who will become leaders off the field. We are happy to continue to recognize the FCS institutions and their football programs for continuing to reach exemplary APR scores," said FCS ADA President Brian Hutchinson.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Winslow taps Byron Samuels as FAMU head basketball coach

Yesterday, FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow named collegiate coaching veteran Byron Samuels its new men’s head basketball coach. Samuels compiled a 75-123 won/loss record during his 7 years as a head coach.

Samuels comes to FAMU from the University of Georgia, where he served as the basketball operations coordinator since June of 2013.

While at Georgia, Samuels was responsible for oversight of the players' day-to-day schedules and their academic performance, assisting with the program's on-campus recruiting efforts, summer camps and community outreach.

A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Samuels has built an extensive coaching resume spanning 11 schools in 26 years. His career experiences include three head coaching posts, two at four-year schools, and one in the junior college ranks.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Blackburn: NCAA penalizing FAMU with unfair standards that fail to consider financial resource gap

A recent op-ed by Tallahassee Democrat senior writer Doug Blackburn explains why it’s unfair for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to penalize colleges such as FAMU, which have relatively small athletic budgets, for not meeting the same Academic Progress Rate as schools that have much more money to spend.

From the op-ed “Tone deaf NCAA deals FAMU a low blow”:

Florida A&M University's two prime-time sports programs suffered a low blow a couple of weeks back when the NCAA ruled that the Rattlers' football and men's basketball teams will be banned from post-season competition during 2014-2015.

Student-athletes on those teams did not satisfy the APR (Academic Progress Rate) standards the NCAA instituted 10 years ago.

Shame on the NCAA for being tone deaf in a surround-sound world.