McCullum wins two awards, makes history

Robert McCullum, FAMU men’s basketball coach. Photo courtesy FAMU athletics

Robert McCullum, head coach of FAMU’s men’s basketball team, was named the 2021 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. He also was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year.

This marks the first time a head coach from FAMU has won the MEAC Coach of the Year award during the university’s 50 years in the conference. Ironically, this is FAMU’s last year in the MEAC; it will be joining the SWAC starting this fall.

McCullum has been the head coach of the FAMU men’s basketball team since 2017. Before FAMU, McCullum served as an assistant coach at schools such as Oregon, UCF and Kansas State.

In one word, McCullum would describe himself as a teacher.

Before McCullum began his college coaching career, he was a teacher for six years. McCullum realized early in life that coaching would be his career.

“Coaching is my calling, I was coaching before I knew I was coaching. I’ve been coaching since I was 12,” McCullum told The Famuan.

McCullum was in disbelief when he realized he was the first FAMU coach awarded the conference’s Coach of the Year, considering the past coaches who led their teams  to NCAA tournaments.

McCullum had no idea that he had been nominated for Coach of the Year. When it was announced that he had won, he was even more shocked.

“I was elated to see that Coach McCullum earned this award. He is definitely deserving of it and I couldn’t think of anyone who was better fit to win,” said assistant coach Isaac Brown.

Brown added that McCullum has successfully turned this program around.

“After last season, I actually had two coaches in the league say to me, “We thought you deserved to be coach of the year. I don’t think there’s any greater honor or award than one from your peers,”  McCullum said.

McCullum acknowledged  that without the players, staff and administration, he would not be able to win the Coach of the Year award.

“Coach McCullum is someone who I have learned a lot from about the profession. He is very talented and knowledgeable about his craft, so being able to work under him has been a great experience,” Brown added.

McCullum’s passion goes beyond coaching. He is committed to helping guide young men.

“I think the Coach of the Year award was well deserved. The amount of time coach  McCullum spends with us on the court and within the program to make the most of our experience is unbelievable. I was glad that he was able to win this award,” said Michael Randolph, a third year player.