BOT forms search committee for football coach

James Colzie III stands with players during football celebration on Jan. 12
Photo Credit: Ashley Bigbee

The Florida A&M University Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss the current status of finding the next head coach for the program.

 The trustees encouraged alums, stakeholders, and football players to express opinions on who FAMU’s next head coach should be and how long hiring a new coach would take. 

 Jeremiah Pruitte, a senior tight end on the Rattlers football team, shared that the situation has put players’ decisions to transfer in limbo due to the semester starting.

 “As of where the semester is starting, everywhere else and school is coming around when it comes down to whether we’re staying or leaving,” Pruitte said. “That’s all based upon our decision as the pioneer head coach.” 

 He also continued by saying how the decision would need to be quick.

 “This is our future that we’re dealing with,” Pruitte said. “So we have to keep decisions moving forward pretty fast.” 

 Before closing, Pruitte, on behalf of his teammates, said they firmly believe that current interim Head Coach James Colzie III would be a good candidate to fill the position.

 FAMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Tiffani-Dawn Sykes said that after former head coach Willie Simmons departed, she began outlining her vision of the next head coach for the program.

 “I’ve heard you all loud and clear; it’s clear to me that we have the same goal,” Sykes said. “We all want what’s best for us to navigate more to use a football program.”

 Sykes announced that moving forward, a search firm would assist her in filling the role. Presidents from organizations including the National Alumni Association, Rattler F Club, 220 Quarterback Club, Rattler Boosters, SGA and FAMU Foundation will comprise the committee. Members of the Board of Trustees suggested so due to what they believe is a “lack of transparency and inclusion.”

 “I’m willing to do what is needed to continue developing relationships and building trust with our constituents,” Sykes said. “I will do so by making sure your voices are heard in this very important process. The firm will begin by conducting interviews with constituents to find out who is important to them and our next head coach.”

 FAMU President Larry Robinson anticipates the cost to be around $50,000 for the search firm.


 FAMU Student Government Association Pres. Londe Mondelus shared that it was “disheartening” for student-athletes to express their concerns about the head coach situation and hopes university officials and trustees consider their opinions in the future.

 Sykes hopes to officially announce a new head coach to replace Simmons before National Signing Day on Feb. 7.