FAMU announces search committee for new football coach
By Jordan Culver, Tallahassee Democrat
Florida A&M University recently announced a nine-member search committee to find its new head football coach after the mid-season firing of Earl Holmes.
John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance (FPA), will serve as the chairman of the search committee. The FPA primarily works with the NFL to promote equal opportunity in the hiring of coaches, office executives and scouting staff. The rest of the committee is made of FAMU alumni, current and former head coaches and university professors.
“The primary thought I have that I share with the committee and the university is you have to have a father figure,” Wooten said about finding a new coach.
“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.”
Wooten said he was approached to be the head of the search committee “about two weeks ago.”
Wooten also has NFL experience — he played for the Cleve-land Browns from 1959 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins from 1967 to 1968.
Athletic director Kellen Win-slow said he hopes to be “close” to making a decision on a new head coach sometime around the Florida Classic on Nov. 22. The university said in a statement a new coach should be named by January 2015.
Winslow said there is an “extensive” list of qualities he’s looking for in regards to the team’s next head coach.
“He’s a recruiter,” Winslow said. “A proven winner, a father figure. Someone with a track record of discipline. Academics a priority. I’m looking for the best coach I can possibly find at this time in the market.”
The other members of the panel are:
- Ty Willingham, former head football coach at Stanford, Notre Dame, and the University of Washington.
- Tommy Mitchell, two-time president of the FAMU National Alumni Association, who played three years with the Harlem Globetrotters.
- Dr. Ebenezer Oriaku, professor in the FAMU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and faculty athletic representative.
- Natalie White, a member of the President’s Alumni Advisory Board for Athletics, who helped the FAMU Rattle-rettes win two regular season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles, and is a member of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame.
- Herb Reinhard, the athletic director at Valdosta State University and a member of the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame; Reinhard previously served as associate athletic director for marketing and development at FAMU.
- Nelson Townsend, a member of the President’s Alumni Advisory Board for Athletics, who served two terms as athletic director of at FAMU. Townsend also served as athletic director at Maryland Eastern Shore University and the University of Buffalo.
- Jamey Shouppe, FAMU’s head baseball coach who previously served as a coach with USA baseball and as pitching coordinator for 18-up Summer.
- Ronnie Mackey, Jr., the vice president of the FAMU Student Government Association. Mackey is a broadcast journalism student and plans to pursue a master’s degree in sports administration.