Florida A&M University (FAMU) football is seeking out a new start with newly announced head coach Willie Simmons. Simmons was officially announced as the new head coach in the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center at a press conference held on Tues. , Dec. 12.
Following ecstatic cheers from the audience, his first words were “I’m Home”. FAMU’s 18 head coach is a Florida native hailing from Quincy, FL where he attended Shanks High School, which is only a 41-minute drive from FAMU’s main campus.
Following high school, Simmons commenced a decent collegiate career where he played Quarterback at Clemson University finishing with a 52 percent completion rating, 14 touchdowns (TDs) and 24,100 passing yards in 22 games. Willie Simmons finished his collegiate career at The Citadel.
Apart from numerous assistant coaching jobs, Simmons landed a head coaching position at Prairie View A&M where he went 21-11, finishing top 3 in the conference throughout his entire tenure, even finishing second with only two losses his first year there.
Rattler Wide Receiver Dock Luckie seemed to be ravished about the new coach
“I am excited to see the new direction our team is going in. Coach Simmons is a great guy and he is focused on our education and doing everything the right way. I have not met the other coaches yet but if the coaches are good enough for him to hire, they will be great men as well.”
He continued, “I do think the changes will benefit the team. We just have to be willing to buy into the system as players and the sky is the limit.”
Luckie emphasized that a majority of the team has not yet been granted an opportunity to meet all of the new coaching staff but “for the most part have a great attitude and are optimistic about the upcoming spring and fall season” with the new coaches.
Orlando McKinley, All-American, All-MEAC, and All-HBCU Cornerback said, “Coach Simmons came in from day one and is all about us being the best we can be!” “In the classroom, in the community, and on the field. From the times I’ve spoken to him he knows exactly what he wants from us and he holds us all accountable.”
Willie Simmons, who is only 37 years old, is FAMU’s 18th football coach in 110 years. It was reported that Simmons’ contract is a five-year deal that is worth $300,000, that is worth $100,000 more than FAMU past two football coaches.