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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

FCS Senior Bowl appearance will cap strong senior year for Terry Johnson

FAMU senior cornerback Devonte “Terry” Johnson had a stellar career for the Rattlers, starting for four seasons on the field. Off the field, he was even more exceptional as he graduated on Friday, in just three-and-one-half years. The former Rickard High School Raider was a product of the Rudy Hubbard era as the Raiders’ head football coach.

Johnson led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in interceptions during his final season with five total, returning them for 79 yards. On the field, he has been a big playmaker, including his signature 63-yard punt return for a touchdown against Savannah State in 2013. In 2014, Johnson took on the task of guarding the opponents’ top receiver in each game.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mangum in no rush to start search for permanent AD

FAMU President Elmira Mangum is not in a rush to start the search for a permanent athletic director. She wants her interim AD, Nelson Townsend, to restore stability to the program.

“We will start the search for a new athletic director soon,” Mangum said in a quote published by The FAMUan. “But I don’t know when.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Search shakeup! Scott heads to Norfolk State, Simmons takes job at Prairie View

The FAMU head football coach search process took a big blow today as two of the eight semi-finalists opted to take offers from other programs.

This morning, Norfolk State introduced Latrell Scott as its new head coach. Scott, who currently leads the Virginia State football program, was the only remaining FAMU candidate who was a sitting head coach.

Fuller says he did not make finalist stage, Simmons might be on his way to Prairie View

Late last week, the advisory committee for FAMU’s head football coach search announced eight semi-finalist candidates for the job. One, Corey Fuller, now says he was not selected as a finalist. Another, Willie Simmons, might be on his way to a head coaching position at another university.

On Monday, Fuller, who is currently FAMU’s interim head football coach, send out a Twitter message stating that he was no longer under consideration for the permanent job.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Winslow resigns, Townsend steps in as interim athletic director

At 6:12 a.m. today, Rattler Nation broke the news (via its Twitter feed) that FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow, Sr. had tendered his resignation and that former AD Nelson E. Townsend was slated to step in as an interim replacement.  Townsend is 73 years-old.

President Elmira Mangum later confirmed Winslow’s resignation to a group of press representatives who approached her on the campus after a morning meeting of the Department of Athletics. 

21 FAMU student-athletes cross stage at fall commencement

FAMU President Elmira Mangum congratulates softball grad Christina Robbs
In front of a packed house of 9,000 at the Alfred Lawson Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium, FAMU welcomed just over 700 new members to its proud roster of more than 70,000 graduates since 1887. The new FAMU alumni included 21 student-athletes.

Diana Gonzales and Bennie Robinson were two examples of the graduating student-athletes who performed well in both their sports competitions and in the classroom.

Friday, December 12, 2014

FAMU narrows head football coach candidate list to eight

The advisory committee for FAMU’s head football coach search has announced eight candidates that it will interview next week. By December 17, the panel plans to forward the names of three finalists to President Elmira Mangum.

According to the Tallahassee Democrat: “The eight candidates are: Charlie Weatherbie, former head coach at Louisiana-Monroe; Joker Phillips, former head coach at Kentucky; Willie Simmons, offensive coordinator at Alcorn State; Corey Fuller, interim head coach at Florida A&M; Latrell Scott, current head coach at Virginia State; Ester Junior III, a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame; Mark Orlando, offensive coordinator at Prairie View A&M; and Tony Samuel, former head coach at Southeast Missouri State.”

Between 50 to 60 applicants sought the head coaching position.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Columnist: “Winslow has built an insular fiefdom”

David Whitley, a journalist who covered FAMU sports in his earlier reporting career, weighed in on FAMU’s ongoing athletics leadership controversy in a column for the Orlando Sentinel.

From: “FAMU’s problems loom over Florida Classic”:

FAMU undoubtedly needs rebranding and fresh thinking, but few schools are as steeped in as much tradition. Rudy Hubbard coached the Rattlers to an unbeaten football season in 1977 and the Division I-AA championship in 1978.

I covered the program 10 years later, and Hubbard would joke that he still couldn't win over the old guard, which lamented that he didn't run the program up to former football coach Jake Gaither's standards.

Gaither, Bob Hayes, Althea Gibson and Willie Galimore sprang from the golden sports era of pre-integration at FAMU. The school is rightly proud of its heritage, but the nostalgia Hubbard battled is still a prickly issue.

The old guard has to be approached with tact and deference. [Athletics Director Kellen Winslow] came into FAMU swinging a sledgehammer.

"It's broken. It can't be fixed," he said of the athletic department. "Tear it down, start over and build it the right way."

Winslow had a hard task to begin with. Infuriating the FAMU establishment might have made it impossible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Mangum to add two trustees as nonvoting members of football coach search advisory committee

FAMU President Elmira Mangum will add two university trustees to the advisory committee for the head football coach search. They will serve as nonvoting members.

Back on Friday, Nov. 7, the trustees Athletics Oversight Committee voted to recommend that the full Board of Trustees pass a policy requiring two trustees to be appointed to the advisory committee. The motion did not state any intention to restrict the two trustees from being voting members. According to WCTV-6, Mangum told the committee that she thought that proposal was inappropriate.

But during the Monday conference call for the full board, Athletics Oversight Committee Chairman Kelvin Lawson said that Mangum had agreed to give the trustees nonvoting representation on the committee after consulting with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) President Belle Wheelan.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

AD Kellen Winslow receives 6-3 “no confidence” vote from FAMU Board of Trustees

On Monday, the FAMU Board of Trustees voted 6-3 to approve the Athletics Oversight Committee’s recommendation for a motion expressing “no confidence” in Athletics Director Kellen Winslow, Sr.

Kelvin Lawson, chairman of the Athletics Oversight that gave Winslow a 3-0 “no confidence” vote on Nov. 7, introduced the motion. Torey Alston, another member of the committee, seconded it.

Lawson, Alston, Student Body President Tonnette Graham (another member of the Athletics Oversight Committee), Board Chairman Chuck Badger, Vice-Chairman Rufus Montgomery, and Spurgeon McWilliams all voted in favor of the motion. The “no” votes came from Belinda Shannon, Faculty Senate President Bettye Grable, and Lucas Boyce.

Kimberly Moore, Marjorie Turnbull, Cleve Warren, and Karl White did not take part in the conference call. Moore previously stated that she disagreed with the Athletics Oversight Committee’s decision to hold a “no confidence” vote.

Saturday, November 15, 2014 launches new design

The FAMU Department Athletics, along with digital media partner NeuLion, has updated with a new look. The new designed focuses on giving the site a brighter appearance and more streamlined feel.

The changes include:
  •     Prominent button links to provide direct access to popular content 
  •     Direct access to register for updates via e-mail
  •     Social Media integration to track tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts
  •     Easier access to buy tickets, donate, and shop for Rattler gear
  •     Better layout and access to links and multimedia across the website to allow more engagement for website visitors  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Winslow issues broad apology for unspecified actions

Yesterday, FAMU Athletic Director Kellen Winslow issued a statement promising to be more measured and collaborative when making decisions and communicating with students, the Board of Trustees, faculty, alumni, and supporters. The apology came five days before the trustees are scheduled to hold a special conference call meeting to address the state of the athletic department under Winslow’s leadership.

Back on Friday, Nov. 7, the newly formed trustees Athletics Oversight Committee took the unusual step of approving a motion declaring that it had “no confidence” in Winslow’s ability to perform his duties. The full board will consider the “no confidence” vote and other concerns about the department on Monday.

Winslow angered many FAMU alumni months ago when he described the athletics department with statement: “It can’t be fixed. Tear it down, start over build it the right way.”

“When you say a program needs to be torn down and rebuilt, I think it’s clear that you don’t have an appreciation for the history,” committee Chairman Kelvin Lawson told WFSU.

The AD’s apology statement referenced FAMU’s winning history in sports, but did not specifically retract the claim that suggested the department was not built “the right way.”

Monday, November 10, 2014

Three years of collegiate head coaching experience preferred for new FAMU gridiron chief

FAMU, which publicly announced the members of its head football coach search advisory committee on Nov. 4, has set an application deadline of Nov. 17 for candidates interested in the position.

“The primary thought I have that I share with the committee and the university is you have to have a father figure,” said advisory committee chairman John Wooten said in a quote published by the Orangeburg Times and Democrat. “And an excellent teacher of the skills of football itself. That is one of the primary things a coach has to have. Also, the ability to motivate. We’re talking about people that can recruit and can show the parents exactly what these young kids can get out of Florida A&M.”

The job description states that “preference will be given to applicants with a Master’s Degree and at least 3 years of college head coaching experience.”

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Embattled AD gets “no confidence" vote from BOT Committee

Trustee Kelvin Lawson
The FAMU Board of Trustees Athletics Oversight Committee, yesterday, took the unusual step of approving a motion declaring that it had “no confidence” in Athletic Director Kellen Winslow's ability to perform his duties. The newly formed committee, chaired by Kelvin Lawson, includes Torey Alston and Student Body President Tonnette Graham.

“I think it’s a systemic issue in how Mr. Winslow has engaged or not engaged alumni and supporters. I think he has shown a blatant disrespect for the FAMU tradition,” Lawson said in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat. “I think it’s behavior the board can no longer condone.”

It is somewhat bizarre for a university board of trustees committee to make such a move. “No confidence” votes in university officials usually come from faculty senates.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

FAMU appoints advisory committee for head football coach search

FAMU has announced the appointment of an advisory committee that will assist with hiring a new head football coach.

The nine-member committee will be chaired by John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance (FPA), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to equal opportunity in the hiring of coaches, front office executives, and scouting staff throughout the National Football League (NFL). Wooten, a former NFL player, provided guidance in developing the FPA’s vision and has helped it become the leading advocate for racial equality in the NFL.

Wooten played for the Cleveland Browns from 1959 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins from 1967 to 1968. He created player development programs for the NFL in 1991. Wooten also served as vice president for player personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1992 and assistant director of professional and college scouting for the Baltimore Ravens until his retirement in 2002.

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.”