Florida A&M University chose to elevate the man who has been serving as the interim head coach since Simmons left the program on Jan. 1, James Colzie III.
Florida A&M University has finally ended its search for a coach to replace Willie Simmons who left his post as the head coach of the university’s football team to join Manny Diaz at Duke University as a running back coach. Florida A&M tried to keep Simmons on as head coach, but it was to no avail. As WCTV reports, the university has appointed James Colzie III as the head coach, elevating him from his role as interim head coach since Simmons’ departure on Jan. 1.
In a press release, Colzie indicated his excitement to join the list of illustrious head coaches in Florida A&M’s history.
“I am eternally grateful to President Robinson and our Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tiffani-Dawn Sykes for their confidence in me,” Colzie said. “It’s truly an honor to join names like William Bell, Jake Gaither, Rudy Hubbard, Billy Joe, and Willie Simmons to hold the illustrious title of Head Football Coach at Florida A&M, and I am ready to do my part of carrying on the tradition of this storied university as the #1 public HBCU in the country.”
FAMU has promoted Assistant HC James Colzie III to Head Coach, per @FAMUAthletics .The former Florida State DB (1993-1997) has 24 years of coaching experience on the college level and is now the next man in charge of the reigning HBCU National Champions. 📸: Tomahawk Nation,… pic.twitter.com/AAH4nBD5ON— LIGHT ON COLLEGE SPORTS (@LightOnSports) January 27, 2024
Previously, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported that the university had faced calls to pause its coaching search from boosters at the school who felt as though their voices were not being heard in the hiring process. The president of FAMU Rattlers Boosters Inc., Selvin Cobb, believed that FAMU Vice President Director of Athletics Tiffani-Dawn Sykes, who is directing the search for a new coach, wanted Fort Valley State’s Shawn Gibbs to replace Simmons. Cobb even told the Tallahassee Democrat that Dawn-Sykes refused to even look at other candidates via a letter, writing, “There has been no presentation of other highly qualified candidates being considered. Therefore, the Boosters are requesting that you suspend any further head coach search activity until the Athletic Director addresses the university community on this subject.”
The letter continued, “We also request that major stakeholders are represented in the official Search Committee process for the Football Coach by you appointing an official Search Committee that can keep stakeholders abreast and provide discussion forums about the candidates.”
In the end, Dawn-Sykes and the committee went with Colzie, who was the man that fans, alumni, and the boosters wanted all along and now we will see if the success the program enjoyed under Simmons will be extended or if boosters will be calling for his job if he doesn’t meet their expectations.
RELATED CONTENT: FAMU Boosters Urge University President To Halt Search For New Coach Amid Growing Discontent Over Process
Source: Black Enterprise