Athletics won’t be able to replace Vaughn Wilson

Vaughn Wilson with Sa'Vanna D. Smith.
Photo Submitted by Sa'Vanna D. Smith.

In February, it was announced that Vaughn Wilson, FAMU’S associate director of intercollegiate athletics, would be leaving his position in June.

Wilson, better known as Mr. Vaughn by legions of student-interns, has worked for Florida  A&M University for almost 10 years. 

Long before he worked at FAMU, Wilson played football as a Rattler. From 1985 through 1988, he played center and punter and earned All-American honors.

The associate director of intercollegiate athletics is not a position that comes with a strict set of specific tasks. A vast majority of the time, Wilson stepped out of the parameters of his job description to ensure the success of the program.

FAMU Athletics Director John Eason told the Tallahassee Democrat, "I'm hoping it's not over. All of these buildings around here, that's brick and mortar. It's people like Vaughn that makes this place what it is."

When Wilson first got to the university there was no multi-media component. Everything on the athletics website he put together with the aide of his interns.

Along with bringing a media component to athletics, Wilson provided students with a way to work on the production side of athletics through an internship. Through the sports information Internship students were able to gain on-the-job experience while still enjoying the university- sponsored activities.

The interns, mainly from the journalism and business majors, worked alongside companies such as ESPN 3 and Fox to broadcast football and basketball games, homecoming events and the Andrew Gillum rally. Through this internship students are able to collect material to add to their capstone portfolio for graduation.

Alphonso Robinson is interning with Wilson this semester. “Mr. Vaughn is truly an amazing individual. He took a shot in the dark and gave me the opportunity to travel with the school to do what I love to do. He took the word of a friend and it led me to working the football games.

“I was able to work with top notch equipment and it has made me an overall better photographer,” he added.

Wilson not only works with his interns on a daily basis, but the athletes as well. Throughout all athletic teams on campus, the name Vaughn Wilson means hard work, dedication and care for students.

Wilson has positively affected the lives of every student he has come in contact with – including me. The current three-point record holder Justin Ravenel goes into detail about Wilson’s impact:

“Vaughn Wilson leaving the athletic program is a huge blow to our program. Mr. Wilson has been instrumental in providing media coverage and information on our opponents and covering promotion activities for our team. I thank him for the work that he has done for our program and his passion has played a big role in us performing well and we will miss him.”