As he holds the very same position his father held back in the early 70s, this Rattler is one of the powerhouses behind FAMU’s Athletics Department.
Vaughn Wilson never imagined that one day he would sit in the same office space as his father, Roosevelt Wilson. Wilson’s father served as both Sports Information Director and Athletics Director during the early 70s and 80s.
Prior to Wilson being appointed Interim Sports Information Director (SID) back in 2009, he worked for a local newspaper his family owned. The newspaper is still widely known around the Big Bend area as the “Capital Outlook.” While at the “Capital Outlook,” he served as the director of photography for 11 years before his family sold the company in 2009.
Wilson said the skills he used at his previous job correlate with his current position as the SID. Wilson’s list of duties includes maintaining the FAMU athletics website, serving as the athletics official videographer, handling game day operations and much more.
“I am most proud of how we’ve expanded our multimedia offerings,” Wilson said.
In April, Wilson and his team upgraded the sports site after partnering with web provider “Neulion.” The noticeable changes tremendously hiked traffic frequency on the website. Wilson said that just six months after the upgrade, the FAMU athletics website reached one million views.
“Considering most of that was in the off season, we are proud of that accomplishment,” Wilson said.
Besides his primary duties, Wilson also shares a close bond with the student athletes. Wilson played football at FAMU for three years, so he’s familiar with the routine.
During his sophomore year as a business student, coach Ken Riley saw potential in Wilson and immediately recruited him as a punter. Wilson became a two-time All-MEAC and two-time All-American punter.
Wilson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business along with seven punting records under his belt, one of those in which he still holds the title with most yards punted in a season (2,812).
“People fail to realize that the athletes are students too,” Wilson said.
Student athletes have a very hectic schedule, Wilson said, and he commends them for staying abreast with their studies because playing sports demands a lot of time.
Wilson’s accomplishments as a one-man-band do not go unnoticed by the team.
“He’s a cool guy. Most of the time when I see him around he’s taking pictures,” said Damien Flemming, freshman quarterback. “He does a great job with the football team and with the website, because after the game, the info is up first thing Sunday morning.”
Wilson said he loves his job, but the most exhilarating part of it all is seeing the athletes as they walk across the stage. He feels like a proud parent.
“No championship, accolade or achievement makes us prouder than when an athlete graduates,” said Wilson. “We always shed a tear when they shake Dr. Ammons’ hand and he says congratulations. We know they have achieved something very special.”
Wilson said there are pros and cons to his job but he couldn’t have asked for a better fit.
“Working in FAMU athletics is truly a dream job,” said Wilson.