With the Florida A&M women’s basketball team currently on a six-game losing skid and sitting at last place within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), FAMU Athletics has officially announced the dismissal of head coach LeDawn Gibson and assistant coach Latasha Shipman- Ganus.
During her time at FAMU, Gibson finished with an overall record of 144 – 181 (83 -82 MEAC). According to FAMU athletics, she produced two MEAC players of the year: guard Jasmine Grice and forward Antonia Bennett, while also producing a MEAC Defensive Player of the Year forward Qianan Donald. Gibson’s highest finish in MEAC tournament was two trips to the quarterfinals in the years of 2008 – 2009 and 2011-2012.
With the Rattlers (3-20, 1-10 MEAC) officially moving on from the Gibson era, FAMU assistant coach Kevin Lynum has been appointed as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
“I’m just privy of the opportunity the university (FAMU) has afforded me,” Lynum stated. “Our women’s program hasn’t won a conference championship in 21 years, it’s no secret, it’s the banner that’s hanging out there (in Al Lawson).”
With interim head coach Lynum being promoted to this position, he seems determined to make sure the Rattlers get back to competing at a high level.
“I ensure you that I’m going to do everything in my power as long as I have the opportunity to hold this position, to get FAMU back to competing at the highest level. We have a great institution, administration and student environment and I’m just excited about it all.”
Lynum’s has been with the program since accepting the role of an assistant coach in the summer of 2018, giving him familiarity with the team. Freshman guard Kenziah Dilworth knows exactly what to expect from coach Lynum when stepping onto the hardwood.
“Coach Kevin (Lynum) stresses energy and that is something that we lacked all year, especially coming out of the second half of games because our energy has always been low,” Dilworth said. “I think he’ll try to implement things that will keep our energy up so we can win these last few games.”
While FAMU has an average point differential of -17.6 and only shoots 33.8 percent from the field for the season, interim head coach Lynum will look to push the team’s pace in the open floor, which could lead to more open shots for the Rattlers.
Because there is a familiar face stepping into a new position for the Rattlers, freshman guard Mya Moye along with other players seem to have already embraced him prior to the coaching change.
“Everybody already has a good relationship with coach Lynum on the team, so the transition wasn’t as hard,” Moya said. “Now we’re just moving forward and staying positive.”
Although the season is coming to a close with only five games remaining, coach Lynum believes that the team can flip the switch and carry some momentum going into the MEAC tournament.
“My girls work hard every single day, so to think anything other than them (FAMU) having a chance to come out and be extremely successful, would be wrong,” coach Lynum said.
Lynum’s first game at the Head Coach position will be on the road against Savannah State on Saturday at 4pm.
John Eason, FAMU athletic director,gave no response to questions asking when athletics would look to find a permanent replacement at the head coaching position.