By Thomas Scott
Guest Contributor HBCUSports.com
Budget. Revenue. Income. By now we all have heard the same tired narrative surrounding these terms. We get it. Many HBCU athletic departments are struggling financially; however there may be a solution.
The market for collegiate apparel is booming. It generates $4.6 billion in sales and has some 60 million minority fans. Typically colleges, athletic conferences and some sporting events rely on licensing companies to protect, promote and grow their brands. These companies specialize in everything from creating product designs to placing apparel in distribution channels.
The largest of these companies, the CLC (Collegiate Licensing Company), is responsible for 80% of the market share and has paid its partners more than $1.5 billion in royalties. Cory Moss, managing director of CLC, explains the importance of these figures. “When [these companies] are targeting colleges well, they’re targeting a younger demographic that will grow up with their brand.”
Has a younger demographic been properly introduced to HBCU brands via apparel? One simple answer…no.
Of the CLC’s 200 clients, only six are HBCUs (Florida A&M, Howard, Morgan State, Tuskegee, Grambling State, and Southern). Two other licensing companies, License Resource Group and Strategic Marketing Affiliates, have a total of 23 HBCU clients. This means that only 29 HBCUs are conducting business with the top licensing agencies. Without the support of these agencies, many HBCU alumni and fans can only find their team’s apparel when visiting their campus bookstore or attending homecoming. Even worse, many are left to buy non-licensed HBCU apparel in which the schools collect no royalties. Failing to pair with licensing companies could be the reason many HBCUs limit the reach of their brand. It’s a strategy which doesn’t make much sense in today’s marketplace.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M has announced the hiring of Alex Wood as its 17th head football coach. Wood was introduced today during a 3 p.m. news conference at the Galimore-Powell Fieldhouse.
Wood has more than 35 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and professional levels
Prior to accepting the top job at FAMU, Wood served as offensive coordinator at the University of Buffalo (UB) from 2011-14.
This past October, he was tapped to serve as interim head coach replacing head Jeff Quinn, who was relieved of his duties, for the final four games (2-2).
Wood is credited with directing a prolific offense at Buffalo, which averaged over 400 yards and 30 points per game during his four-year stint. In 2014, the team finished fourth in total offense and third in scoring offense in the Mid-American Conference, and in 2012 became the first Division I FBS program to amass over 2,000 yards rushing and passing in the same season.
He served as running back coach at University of Miami from 1989-93 helping the team to a pair of national championships, including a perfect 12-0 in 1991.
Wood served as head coach at James Madison University (JMU) from 1995-1998 and led them to an 8-4 record and the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs in 1995.
Wood also served as a coach in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Minnesota Vikings.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Terry Sims was announced as the new head coach for Bethune-Cookman University Football on Monday afternoon, in a press conference held in front of a standing room only crowd inside the Harold V. Lucas Hall of Fame at the Larry R. Handfield Athletic Training Center.
Sims, a 43-year old native of Jesup, Ga., was announced as the 11th head coach of the B-CU Football program by Director of Athletics Lynn W. Thompson. The announcement came just five days after the resignation of former head coach Brian Jenkins, who recently accepted a similar position at Alabama State University.
“I am grateful for this opportunity afforded to me by Lynn Thompson,” said Sims. “Brian Jenkins left a great legacy to try and follow here at B-CU. I am honored to accept this position, and I hope to continue the winning tradition of Wildcats Football.”
Sims has spent the previous five years as an assistant coach for the Wildcats under Jenkins, responsible primarily for safeties and special teams. He was also the assistant head coach, handling some of the day-to-day duties of the program. Under his tutelage, the Wildcats secondary has ranked amongst the national top 25 statistically in several categories since 2010.
“Throughout the entire process of searching for a head coach, the name Terry Sims kept coming up – not only from coaches, but from the majority of our players,” stated Thompson. “I said all along that this was not a cattle call. It was a swift process, and we reviewed five outstanding candidates for the job. However, Terry Sims came out of it with the pedigree we felt would continue what we already have in place here at Bethune-Cookman University – a winning football program. Four MEAC titles in the last five years speaks for itself in that regard.”
“There is really only one thing left to do now that the announcement is over with,” continued Sims. “It’s time to get down to work molding young men’s lives in a positive way, and win some football games along the way. It’s time to get to work.”]]>
Steven J. Gaither and Tolly Carr break down a wild week of coaching moves around the MEAC, SWAC and CIAA in Dec. 2014.]]>
Albany, GA- Albany State has announced that ASU football assistant coach Dan Land has been named the interim head coach for the program.
“We are pleased that Coach Land has accepted the position of head coach on an interim basis,” ASU athletics director Dr. Richard H. Williams said. “He is familiar with our program and has been a part of our many successes.
“We are confident he will do a stellar job for Albany State football during our continue search.”
Land has served as an assistant coach for Albany State since 2002. During that time, he has coached the defensive backs and has been a part of six SIAC championships and 11 NCAA Division II playoffs appearances. Land has also coached numerous defensive backs who have been named to the SIAC all-conference and NCAA South Regional teams.
A former standout player at Albany State, Land joined the Golden Rams football program as a running back in 1983. As a Golden Ram, he was a two-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) team member. During his junior and senior seasons, Land accumulated 2695 rushing yards and led the team and SIAC in rushing touchdowns.
In 1987, Land was drafted as a running back by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He later played 10 years with the Oakland Raiders as a defensive back and completed his career with the Atlanta Falcons.
Albany State will launch a national search for its head football coaching position.]]>
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Tennessee State head coach Rod Reed agreed in principle to a contract extension, Friday, keeping the alum on the TSU sideline for the foreseeable future.
“I am very thankful that our Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips and administration have shown a commitment to this program and myself,” Reed said. “Leaving TSU would have been tough to do because I feel like there is more left to be accomplished.”
Official terms of the new deal are still undisclosed, but details of the contract’s length and salary are to ironed out a later date.
Reed led the Tigers to a 6-6 mark in 2014, capping off a run of three straight non-losing seasons – a feat that has not been done at Tennessee State since 1984-86.]]>
Anticipation, Opportunity and Expectation Abound
by Lut Williams
In athletic parlance, turnover usually has a negative connotation. If so, black college football, in terms of its head coaches, is in real trouble.
In transactions announced through this week, there have been eight head coaching changes in the black college football ranks this year with more to come.
See if you can keep up.
Latrell Scott is out at Virginia State and in at Norfolk State after the retirement of Pete Adrian.
Brian Jenkins is out at Bethune-Cookman and in at Alabama State replacing eight-year veteran Reggie Barlow.
James “ Mike “ White is out at Albany State and in at Benedict in place of James Woody whose contract was not renewed after four years at the helm.
Willie Simmons left Alcorn State as offensive coordinator to take over at Prairie View A&M after Heishma Northern was released after five years.
Mike Morand was named interim head coach at Saint Augustine‘ s when 13-year veteran Michael Costa was abruptly let go early in the seeason. Morand had the interim title removed recently and is now the permanent head coach.
Kermit Blount did not have his contract renewed at Delaware State after four years. Former Virginia State head coach and Winston-Salem State and DelState assistant, Andrew Faison, is the interim head coach for the Hornets.
Earl Holmes was let go at Florida A&M before the season ended after just two-plus years. Interim head coach Corey Fuller is reportedly one of three finalists for that job.
Lane head coach Malik Hoskins resigned after one year.
That leaves head coach openings all over the black college landscape - at Virginia State in the CIAA, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and DelState in the MEAC and Albany State and Lane in the SIAC.
All told, there will be 11 new head coaches at the 54 football-playing HBCU institutions.
Add that to the fact that Winston-Salem State, Lincoln (Pa.) and Virginia Union of the CIAA, Hampton, NC Central and Morgan State of the MEAC, Central State, Lane, Paine and Kentucky State of the SIAC, Alabama A&M, Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State and Grambling State of the SWAC, and independents Edward Waters, Cheyney, Concordia-Selma and Virginia-Lyncburg all had first-year coaches this season. That means 29 of the 54 HBCU programs – just over half – will have head coaches either in their first or second year once the 2015 season starts.
The coaching carousel is indeed in full swing.
There is no doubt, however, that the changes come with a slew of positives, chief among them an even greater level of competition.
Scott, a dynamic young coach, will make an already tough MEAC (that had five co-champions this season, two of them – Morgan State and N. C. Central – with first-year coaches) even tougher. Ditto for Jenkins, he of four MEAC titles in five years at B-CU, and Simmons, fresh off a conference title at Alcorn State, in joining the SWAC.
White, a proven winner in 14 years at Albany State, will undoubtedly, in short order, make Benedict a factor in the SIAC.
And it‘s not like coaches early in the jobs did badly this season.
In just two years at VSU, Scott won two CIAA North titles and this year‘s CIAA championship. WSSU won the CIAA South this season under first-year head coach Kienus Boulware. Virginia Union first-year head coach Mark James led a turnaround getting the Panthers to within a game of a CIAA North title. Grambling had a even larger resurgence getting within a game of the West title and the SWAC championship game in its inaugural season under Broderick Fobbs. Newbies Lee Hull of Morgan State and Jerry Mack of North Carolina Central got a share of the MEAC title. And SWAC champion Alcorn State won the East Division and conference title in just head coach Jay Hopson‘s third season.
Its enough to make a grizzled vet like 13-year head man Buddy Pough at South Carolina State shake in his boots (not really).
So while turnover has negative connotations to some, it also portends anticipation, opportunity and expectation for others. That is what is more likely to come from these changes.
And more exciting and intriguing matchups for us fans.
So while this coaching carousel most resembles a game of musical chairs, with coaches leaving one black college destination for another, even in that hotly contested game there are winners.
We can‘t wait to see who they will be.
© AZEEZ Communications]]>
A day after announcing his retirement from Albany State University Football, James "Mike" White has been named head football coach at Benedict College. White has served as head coach at Albany State for the past 15 years, winning six SIAC championships and advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs seven times. His record at ASU was 112-51, a 68.7% winning percentage.
"In order to take Benedict College football to the next level, we needed a coach who has been successful in all facets and knows what it takes to develop a championship program. In the SIAC, no coach embodies those qualities more than Mike White," Washington said. "He was our top choice from day one, and we are excited to have Coach White on board as part of the Tiger family."
White has been named the SIAC Coach of the Year five times in his career. He has also been named the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN) National Division II Football Coach of the Year as the most outstanding Division II coach in 2010. He was named the Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) / Eddie Robinson National Black College Coach of the Year as well as the Don Hansen's Football Gazette Division II National Coach of the Year in 2004. He also won the Charles B. Fisher Award from the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2013. His Albany State team captured the SBN National Black College Football Championship in 2010, as well as the Washington, D.C., Pigskin Club's National Black College Championship.
"I'm just happy to be here," White said. "I'm excited and have all kinds of emotions going through me. But I'm just ready to get started. I want to start a true winning tradition here.]]>
Albany, GA- Albany State head football coach James “Mike” White has announced his retirement from the ASU football program. White served as the ASU head football coach for the last 15 years.
“Coach White has provided Albany State football and the university with great service for many years,” ASU athletics director Dr. Richard H. Williams said. “He has led us to great success during his tenure at ASU, and he has left some big shoes to fill.
“Coach White has been a great ambassador for our program and Albany State University. We are proud of the legacy he has produced, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
In 15 years, White garnered a record of 112-51(.687) overall and an 87-24 (.784) in the SIAC. His 112 victories rank him as the second winningest head coach in school history behind Hampton Smith. Under his leadership, the Golden Rams have won five SIAC championship titles in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2013. His 2010 team also captured their first SBN National Black College Football Championship and the Washington D.C. Pigskin Club’s National Black College Championship.
White also led the Golden Rams to seven NCAA Division II playoff appearances. Albany State reached the third round of the playoffs in 2004 and 2010. ASU also appeared in three of the SIAC’s championship games. White also led the Golden Rams to another postseason appearance when the team defeated Fayetteville State University in the 2003 Pioneer Bowl
This year, Albany State finished 7-3 overall (7-0 in the SIAC) and lost to Tuskegee University 47-41 in the SIAC title game.
The recipient of several awards and honors for his coaching and leadership skills, White was named the 2013 SIAC Co-Coach of the Year, an honor he also received in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2010. He was selected as the Heritage Sports Radio Network’s (HSRN) National Division II Football Coach of the Year as the most outstanding Division II coach during the season.
He was the recipient of the SBN/Eddie Robinson National Black College Coach of the Year Award, presented by the Sheridan Broadcasting Network, in 2004. He also won the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2013 Charles B. Fisher Awards from the Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. and was honored by the 100% Wrong Club of Atlanta as the SIAC Coach of the Year. He was also named Division II National Coach of the Year by Don Hansen's Football Gazette in 2004. He was inducted into the Albany State University Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
Albany State will launch a national search for a new head football coach.]]>
Alabama State University has named Brian Jenkins head football coach, Interim Athletic Director Melvin Hines announced today.
Jenkins will be introduced Wednesday at a 3 p.m. press conference in the Club Lounge at the New ASU Stadium. The press conference will be video streamed live at bamastatesports.com.
In five seasons as head coach at Bethune-Cookman (2010-14), Jenkins' Wildcats won more than 76 percent of their games (46-14), winning or tying for four Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) titles, earning three FCS playoff berths and two HBCU national titles. B-CU won at least eight games each season, including a pair of 10-win seasons, and never finished below second place in the conference standings in posting a 34-6 record in MEAC contests, including a perfect 8-0 mark in 2012. The Wildcats also won 18 straight conference games between 2011-13, the second-longest streak in league history.
A three-time conference coach of the year, Jenkins' teams also defeated arch-rival Florida A&M four straight seasons (2011-14) for the first time in school history.