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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New FAMU head football coach: “I’m home”

The Simmons family with President Larry Robinson (FAMU student, freshman class president and son Tre, and daughters Raven and Shailoh with Willie Simmons and wife Shaia Simmons, a two-time FAMU grad – Not pictured: son, Wraylon)
Florida A&M University (FAMU) formally presented Big Bend area native Willie Simmons as the 18th full-time head coach in the history of the school’s storied football program on Tuesday, December 12, in the Alfred Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center and Teaching Gymnasium. The Marching “100,” FAMU Cheerleaders, Venom mascot, students, athletes, faculty, staff, alumni, booster groups and family and fans from across the region came out to welcome Coach Willie Simmons and the new era of Rattler Football.

“I’m home,” Simmons said during the press conference. “I’m honored, privileged and blessed to be here. And you will get my very best. We are going to get right to work at winning championships … and making sure our student-athletes are champions academically and off the field.”

Sunday, December 10, 2017

FAMU close to naming Willie Simmons head football coach

FAMU appears set to name former Prairie View A&M head coach Willie Simmons as head coach as early as tomorrow. Simmons lead the Panthers to a 21-11 record over three years in what was his first head coaching job.
 
His wikipedia page has already been updated to indicate that he is the FAMU coach.

Simmons, 37 years-old, is a Tallahassee native,who played quarterback at Clemson University, and has is most noted as an offensive guru. His teams at PVAMU scored on 33.4 points per game.

Simmons previously served as offensive coordinator/RB coach at Alcorn State University. He held the same position at Middle Tennessee State University.

Simmons was briefly a member of the FAMU football team back in 2003 after transferring from Clemson but was denied a waiver to play as FAMU was in the midst of an attempt to join the FCS.

On Saturday, Prairie View A&M released a statement saying that Simmons had left the program after three seasons. Simmons, himself, told a Houston sportscaster Mark Berman, that he resigned to "pursue other professional opportunities."

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Committee will lead search for new FAMU head football coach

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Athletic Director Milton Overton, Jr., announced Wednesday the formation of a committee that will help identify candidates for FAMU’s next head football coach. The committee will review candidates’ applications, conduct interviews and recommend finalists. Tallahassee physician and former Trustee Spurgeon McWilliams, MD, will serve as chair of the search committee.

Other committee members include: Emmitt Alexander, Sr., FAMU Boosters member; Lt. Col. Gregory L. Clark, president of the FAMU National Alumni Association; Keith Clinkscales, FAMU Foundation Board member; Selven Cobb, Rattler Boosters treasurer; John Eason, incoming interim director of Athletics; Shawnta Friday-Stroud, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business and Industry; Eddie Jackson, president of the 220 Quarterback Club (a group that supports FAMU Athletics programs); Darlene Moore, Ed.D., director of Track and Field; Ebenezer Oriaku, Ph.D., Athletics faculty representative; and Elijah Richardson, FAMU football player.

FAMU has a rich football history and faithful fans. Among historically Black colleges and universities, FAMU finished first in average home attendance in the Football Championship Subdivision, formerly Division 1-AA. The 2016 home attendance was 19,710. The football team also led the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in both total and average home attendance.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Rattler football places 18 on MEAC All-Academic Squad

Vincent Jefferies is among the honorees on the 2017 MEAC Football All-Academic Team
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) recently announced the 2017 Football All-Academic Selections, honoring 66 student-athletes from the conference’s 13 institutions who achieved academic success during the 2016-17 academic year.

MEAC sophomore, junior and senior student-athletes with a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average, as well as transfer student-athletes who have been in residence at the institution for at least one year, are eligible for All-Academic accolades.

FAMU’s 18 MEAC All-Academic student-athletes are: Osman Aguilera, Tarique Akbar, Yahia Aly, Bishop Bonnett, Elijah Casey, Marquan Cromartie, Joshua Engram, Doyle Grimes, Vincent Jeffries, Terry Jefferson, Dock Luckie III, Atreus Martin, De'Montre Moore, Kevin Newman, Obina Nwankwo, Shamari Pittman, Myles Rouse, and Hans Supre.

Friday, November 24, 2017

National Rattler “F” Club honors seven FAMUans during Florida Classic Weekend Gala

During the Florida Blue Florida Classic Weekend, at the Sea World Hilton Doubletree, the National Rattler “F” Club honored seven Rattlers on the eve of the football game featuring FAMU vs. Bethune-Cookman University.

Curtis Taylor, president of the National Rattler “F Club, recognized the following honorees during the Distinguished Award of Excellence Gala: Darlene Moore (Track) Greg Coleman (Football), Larry Robinson, Ph.D. (Interim President), LTC Gregory Clark (Baseball), Roy Moore (Supporter), Vaughn Wilson (Football) and Thomas Jones Jr. (Chairman, FAMU Foundation).

Founded in 1989, the National Rattler “F” Club’s mission is to assist in promoting the academic and general athletic interest of Florida A&M University, as well as promote the continued development of Rattler athletic teams. The organization also seeks to recognize FAMUans and supporters whose work and contributions have served to advance the university’s mission and the success of its athletics programs.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Orlando & Orange County should better support the Florida Classic

The City of Birmingham, AL, will pay more than $655,944 to host the 76th Magic City Classic (MCC) between Alabama State and Alabama A&M this Saturday.  The MCC expects to attract nearly 70,000 fans to the game. For its investment the city expects to receive more than $22-million in economic impact from the game. 
The bulk of the Birmingham's investment goes to pay a $200,000 game guarantee to each school. In all, Alabama State and Alabama A&M each make nearly $600,000 from the game.
By contrast, the Florida Classic football game played in Orlando between FAMU and Bethune-Cookman --at last report-- received about $150,000 in financial support from its host community ($75,000 each from the City of Orlando and Orange County). Though the Florida Classic payout for each school is historically larger than the payout of the Magic City Classic, because of sponsorship sales, and higher ticket prices, neither FAMU or Bethune receives a direct payment for playing the game in Orlando from the City of Orlando or Orange County.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tampa Classic is still on, will honor first responders

Florida A&M Athletics announced yesterday that the Tampa Classic will proceed as scheduled on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m., at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

In coordination with partners from Tennessee State, FAMU Athletics confirmed today, through the Tampa Bay Sports Authority and City officials, that Raymond James Stadium is in a safe, game-ready condition, post Hurricane Irma.

According to Athletics Director Milton Overton, after speaking with a number of alumni, supporters, and fans in the Tampa Bay area it was clear that the Rattlers in Tampa Bay are resilient and ready to get back to normal this weekend with their Rattler family at Raymond James Stadium. According to Overton, they expressed their excitement to watch the Rattler Football team and the incomparable Marching “100” take on the Tigers of Tennessee State.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ESPNU to broadcast Jake Gaither Classic at Bragg Stadium

ESPNU will broadcast the inaugural Jake Gaither Classic at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Aug. 26. Last week, the FAMU Department of Athletics announced that the game had been moved to a 12 noon kickoff time in order to permit ESPNU to televise it.

“The exposure on the premier college football network is part of our strategic recruitment and branding effort,” said FAMU Director of Athletics Milton Overton. “Millions of college football fans will have the opportunity to watch the debut of this year’s Rattler football team and witness the launch of the Jake Gaither Classic. Placing the Jake Gaither Classic on national television is an outstanding way to share the greatness of FAMU and honor Coach Gaither’s legacy.”

Friday, July 28, 2017

FAMU athletics administrator named president of Florida Sports Foundation

The Florida Sports Foundation will welcome Angela Adams Suggs as its new President and Senior Vice President of Sports Development for Enterprise Florida beginning August 7. She brings a wealth of experience and an excitement to lead the Tallahassee-based Florida Sports Foundation as it continues working to support Florida’s $57 billion sports industry.

Suggs comes to the Foundation from Florida A&M University where she has held various roles since 2009. Her most recent role has been the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA).

Suggs served as the lead role in FAMU’s Athletics Marketing and Promotions, Development, Athletics Communications, Licensing and Branding. She was the athletics department’s primary liaison with campus direct support organizations (DSO), neutral site games such as the Florida Blue Florida Classic, affinity/support groups, and community relations. She oversaw administration for the Men’s and Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country teams along with the Softball, Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams, and Spirit Groups.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Overton leads FAMU athletic department to first surplus since Ken Riley years

FAMU Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. has led the department to its first surplus since the years of former AD Ken Riley.

Overton recently informed the FAMU Board of Trustees that the department finished the 2016-2017 fiscal year with a $9,500 surplus.

“We implemented several initiatives to reduce spending and increase revenues,” Overton said.  “Not the least of which was re-commissioning the department-owned bus which had gone unused for several years.  The instituting of this singular initiative realized a savings of over $100,000 in itself.  In addition, we increased revenues.  The department successfully raised over $1 million this fiscal year, contributing to the balancing of the budget.”

If the athletics department continues in its current direction, it could repeat the financial success FAMU experienced under Riley.

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

Sunday, June 04, 2017

FAMU wins MEAC’s Mary McLeod Bethune Women's All-Sports Award

FAMU celebrating Head Softball Coach Veronica Wiggins’s 700th win
The Florida A&M University Women's Athletic program has returned to the top of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in 2016-2017, as it captured the Mary McLeod Bethune Women's All-Sports Award, the conference recently announced.

The All-Sports Award is an indicator of the overall strengths and women's athletic program. FAMU received a $20,000 check during a reception in St. Petersburg, Fla.

“I would like extend congratulations to Florida A&M University and Interim President Dr. Larry Robinson, Director of Athletics Milton Overton and all of the outstanding individuals including staff, coaches and student-athletes who were involved in winning the Mary McLeod Bethune Award,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas.

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.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Legacy Banquet raises $225,000 for FAMU athletics

It was a star-studded affair, representing the best of FAMU.  The Legacy Committee and the FAMU Foundation, Inc., presented one of the most effective and lucrative fundraisers in the history of the university.

The brainchild of the Rev. Dr. R.B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and a former FAMU trustee, the banquet was a fundraising initiative to assist FAMU Athletics.  He defined the event in his opening statement, saying “Thank you for your love and thank you for your support of our great institution.”

When all the fanfare subsided, the net result was $225,000 for the department.  Clearly it was one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the university.  The banquet honored 15 special Rattlers and was financially supported by several dedicated  businesses and individuals.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

FAMU to conduct national search for new men’s basketball coach

Florida A&M University will launch a national search for a new men’s basketball coach following its decision to not renew Head Coach Byron Samuels’ contract.

Athletic Director Milton Overton, Jr. released a statement about change on Friday.

“After review and evaluation of the Florida A&M University men’s basketball program, FAMU Athletics has decided to take its program in a different direction,” Overton said.
Restructuring our program with a continued emphasis on academic achievement and competitive success will be key components in moving FAMU basketball forward.”

Overton added that: “We would like to thank Coach Byron Samuels for his contributions to our men's basketball program and student-athletes over the past three seasons. Assistant Coach Lamont Franklin will lead our program as the interim head coach while a national search is conducted for a replacement. Our focus continues to center around ‘Building Champions in the classroom, on the field and in life - with academic honesty and integrity.’”

Samuels headed the men’s basketball program for three years. His FAMU teams had a 17-71 record.   

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

FAMU football legend Bob Hayes honored at Super Bowl LI

FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson and Bob Hayes' sisters Lucille Hester and Georgette Sanders
Just minutes before Super Bowl LI kicked off in Houston, Texas, fans cheered during an emotional pregame, on-field tribute to 29 NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame players, including Florida A&M University (FAMU) legend Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes. The late two-sport Rattler is the only athlete to win a Super Bowl ring and Olympic gold medals.

At the invitation of the NFL, FAMU’s Interim President Larry Robinson and Hayes’ family members attended the game and a weekend of special events dedicated to trailblazers who attended historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Hayes died in 2002 at the age of 59. He was enshrined posthumously into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in July 2009.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

FAMU legend Bob Hayes to be honored by NFL at Super Bowl LI

Robert “Bullet Bob” Hayes, undoubtedly the greatest male student-athlete produced by the legendary athletic program at Florida A&M University (FAMU), will be among the 29 historically Black college and university (HBCU) gridiron greats honored in February by the National Football League (NFL) during the Super Bowl LI festivities in Houston, Texas.

In December 2016, the NFL joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) at the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia to kick off an enhanced partnership initiative titled, “Strength of HBCUs: Impacting Pro Football Since 1948.”  The goal of the partnership is to honor the history and impact of HBCUs and their players and increase career opportunities for students and athletic administrators at these institutions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Overton says $622K price tag for repairs won’t jeopardize 2017 home games in Bragg

Back in December, Florida A&M University announced that it needs hundreds of thousands of dollars for critical repairs to Bragg Memorial Stadium.

According to Tallahassee Democrat reporter Jordan Culver, FAMU Chief Financial Officer Angela Poole explained that if FAMU doesn’t obtain the full $622,000 required for the mandatory repairs, then some sections of the football stadium will have to be closed.

Last week, Athletic Director Milton Overton sent a statement to WTXL reassuring the public that Bragg will be open for the 2017.

Monday, January 09, 2017

FAMU needs $5.4M for critical Bragg Stadium repairs over next 5 years

Bragg Memorial Stadium, home of Rattler football, needs $5,459,500 over the next five years for critical repairs.

On Friday, Interim Chief Financial Officer Wanda Ford and Athletic Director Milton Overton will present an “Athletics Budget Discussion” to the FAMU Board of Trustees Budget, Finance, and Facilities Committee.

The report lists five “phases” that need to be completed over the next five years. They are: (1) $622,000 for “structural repairs & internal stair replacement,” (2) $1,937,500 to “sand blast & repainting of steel frame, (3) $500,000 to “sand blast and repaint steel pans & seat and handrail repairs (to prevent deterioration due to corrosion)”, (4) $1,300,000 for “restroom renovation or replacement (8 areas) (Code/ADA compliance),” and (5) $1,100,000 for “press box replacement (for ADA compliance).” 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

19 FAMU student-athletes cross stage at Fall 2016 commencement

It’s the biggest event of the year.  Yes, even bigger than homecoming.  Commencement ceremonies bring out the best in FAMU Athletics and the Fall 2016 ceremony was no different.  Over 700 students had their degrees conferred upon them tonight, with 19 of those being FAMU student-athletes.

The graduates ranged from Jaymee Smith, who completed her degree in four years to Maverick McKinney; a football player from the mid-1980s who joined the workforce and returned to complete his degree, culminating in tonight’s commencement.   

No matter the time table, the pride remained the same.  The culmination of baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees are celebrated in grand fashion at Florida A&M University.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Athletic fee losses from enrollment decline reduced funds for critical Bragg repairs

Yesterday, many so-called Rattlers who didn’t care about the multi-million dollar enrollment decline under former President Elmira Mangum threw fits on Facebook over news about a financial problem that was made worse by those student loses. 

Tallahassee Democrat reporter Jordan Culver discussed the details that Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr. and Chief Financial Officer Angela Poole shared during a Board of Trustees workshop.

“FAMU must spend $622,000 for structural repairs and internal stair replacement or [Bragg Memorial Stadium] will not be cleared for fall competition,” Culver tweeted yesterday.