Florida A&M University’s football program has undergone many changes in the last year, but the most recent change might just bring the glory days of the Rattler strike back to the hill. This week, Sports Editor Serge Beaubrum was given the opportunity to sit down with the newest addition to the Rattler family, newly hired head football coach, Rubin Carter.
Famuan: Coach, you have five returning starters on offence and they are accustomed to the gulf coast offense. Will they fit into the new offensive scheme?
Carter: I certainly think wide receivers are the strength of our team. We don’t want to be one dimensional as a team where your predictable and we’re going to utilize the abilities of not just the wide receivers, but the abilities of all our players to get them in positions to make plays.
Famuan: What is your coaching strategy?
Carter: My coaching philosophy is to utilize the talent out of every position. To be able to create match-ups that can put us in an advantageous position to be able to win
Famuan: Coach, you’ve inherited a team that has underachieved the past two season. How do you intend to change mindsets from the previous program?
Carter: First of all, there has been some situations that have occurred as it relates to this football team. Certainly, anytime you want to take a major step up to the Division-I level, you have to be ready to make that type of change. That transition certainly was difficult for the players. I think it was difficult for the University in general as far as being able to plan where you want your program to be. I think that over the long run, the future of this of this program is very bright. Certainly, being back in the MEAC and getting the opportunity to compete at that level allows our players to have success. When you’re playing Division-I programs week in and week out, you don’t have success. It creates a lack of confidence in your football team when your’re not winning games. What we want to do is to create the confidence in the football team again, and certainly, by going out and playing good football games and executing on both sides of the ball, really paying attention to detail and not beating ourselves on either side of the ball.
Famuan: Coach will you be heading the team from the sideline or from the press box?
Carter: I am a field general, that’s where I’ll be. I’ll be there with my troops. I always felt as though a leader should be out in the front of a football team. That’s my personal philosophy. I will be with my football team on the sidelines on Saturday. I want to make sure as a coach, and as a leader to keep them poised and confident that somehow, someway, through the course of the game, we’ll find a way to get it done. And I think you can only convey that if you’re able to be there with you’re players to have a hands on relationship with your players, and you’re able to be there to look them eye to eye and face to face, to see exactly what the mood and emotion of you’re team is. So, to answer your question, I will be on the sideline with the players.
Famuan: Coach, you have a great track record. You could’ve coached anywhere. Why FAMU?
Carter: What I see is perception in reality of what people think the program is, but also, I see what it can be. I looked pass the NCAA sanctions. I looked pass any type of issues that have occurred in the past, and that’s in the past. I’m looking to build a good quality program from the ground up. Certainly, Florida is the recruiting hotbed throughout the nation. I think we’ve got an opportunity to get good players. In Tallahassee and within our core area, we have an excellent chance to get student athletes who want to come to school here. I think this could be a good program if it’s done right. If it’s done with efficiency. Certainly, we lack resources in some areas. We gotta get a better weight room. Talking about legacy, if there’s one thing I want to leave, I want to leave the legacy that he left a better weightroom. He created better facilities for the University that the players can not only take pride in, but potential recruits can also take pride in.
Famuan: What can Rattler fans expect from you and your team?
Carter: I think they can expect us to play with maximum effort on each and every play. They can expect for us to start and finish a game. An emphasis has been placed on finishing and playing for two quarters and just playing hard with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
The Rattlers seem to have a real stand up leader taking the healm this season and beyond.
With his take “it one play at a time” attitude, the Rattlers should see the triumphant return of conference championships, playoff appearances and maybe a national championship.