Townsend Returns to FAMU as Interim Athletic Director

Nelson Townsend was named interim Athletic Director at Florida A&M University after Kellen Winslow resigned Sunday night. A press conference was held this afternoon to introduce Townsend’s return.

Townsend is a member of the President’s Alumni Advisory Board for Athletics. He served two terms as athletic director at FAMU that started in 2005. Before he came to FAMU, he was the athletic director for three years at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He also was the athletic director at the University of Buffalo.

The search for a new head football coach is underway and Townsend believed nothing has changed.

“If they were interested yesterday, they are interested today,” Townsend said. “Whether it is football, baseball or basketball, coaches don’t come to work for one person. They come to coach for the university.”

Winslow became the athletic direction May 15. After a month on the job, Winslow was quoted by Tallahassee Democrat calling the athletic department ‘broken.’ On the week of FAMU’s homecoming, Winslow fired head football coach Earl Holmes.

With all the controversy, Townsend does not think anything has changed.

“Nothing has changed from what was published,” Townsend said. “Some of the things you try to do has not been a priority these days.”

With the new changes at the athletic director position, the search for a permanent athletic director will begin soon. FAMU president Elmira Mangum wants to start the search soon.

“We will start the search for a new athletic director soon,” Mangum said. “But I don’t know when.”

Reginald Turner, a junior pre-occupational therapy student and an offensive lineman for the FAMU Rattlers football team, is tired of all the changes taken place in the athletic department.

“I’m tired of all the parody in the athletic department,” Turner said. “We just want to settle down and play football.”

Townsend’s plan is to continue the search for a new head coach to replace Holmes. As of now, the department the front-runners of the eight candidates that are left.