Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Title hopes on line when Southern meets Grambling in 44th annual Bayou Classic

NEW ORLEANS -- The 44th annual Bayou Classic kicks off Saturday at 4 p.m. with way more than bragging rights on the line.

The winner of this year's game will head to the SWAC Championship to face Alcorn State for a shot to play the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion in the Air Fore Reserve Celebration Bowl on Dec. 16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

"The thing that's riding is the chance to play another week," Southern coach Dawson Odums said. "I think this year is a lot different from a year ago from the mindset of our football team. I think both teams understand you win, you move on. You lose you go home.

"There's no better time to be playing a game like that than in the Bayou Classic."

Grambling (9-1) won last year's matchup, 52-30, and went on to defeat Alcorn State and North Carolina Central to be named HBCU National Champions.

However, both coaches acknowledge a lot has changed since last year.


Bayou Classic hopes to break records this week as Grambling, Southern face off

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans officials are hoping for record attendance this year at the 44th annual Bayou Classic football game, which will see two Louisiana college teams compete for a shot at a conference championship.

Grambling State University and Southern University will face off for the chance to play in the Toyota Southwestern Athletic Conference Football Championship in Houston on Dec. 2.

Saturday’s game in New Orleans, and the events leading up to it, are not only a chance for supporters to cheer on their team; they are a celebration of Louisiana’s historically black colleges and universities, organizers said Monday.

“When we stand together, and think as one, and do as one, in support of HBCUs, we help to strengthen our future and the lives of students who attend them,” said Dottie Belletto, president and CEO of New Orleans Convention Co., the firm that manages the Bayou Classic.

The annual face-off between the two historically black universities has brought thousands of visitors to New Orleans over Thanksgiving weekend annually since 1974, after the event was launched in Shreveport in a 1973 test run.


Head Football Coach Alex Wood Resigns From FAMU

Wood went 8-25 in three seasons
TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- FAMU’s Athletic Director Milton Overton, Jr. announced Coach Alex Wood has resigned his position as head football coach and will step down today.

Coach Wood was hired on December 23, 2014 and signed a three-year agreement with FAMU.

Overton said, "Wood has served FAMU Athletics with honor as he worked to help rebuild the Rattler football program during the past three seasons. We thank him for his dedication and service."

FAMU will launch a national search to identify the next head football coach through a search committee led by Interim Director of Athletics John Eason. Offensive Line Coach Edwin Pata, a former FSU football player, will serve as interim head football coach.


Hampton University head football coach Connell Maynor resigns after four seasons

HAMPTON, Virginia -- Less than one week after announcing its plans to leave the MEAC for a new conference (Big South), Hampton University is looking for a new football coach.

Connell Maynor resigned from his position Monday, the school confirmed in a release. Assistant coach Michael Ketchum will oversee the football program until Maynor’s successor is named.

In four seasons at Hampton, Maynor led the Pirates to a 20-and-25 record.

The Pirates’ head coach told the Sportswrap he will resign, effective Tuesday morning.


University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Makes Change Atop Its Football Program

PINE BLUFF, Arkansas -- The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff announced Monday that it will not renew the contract of Monte Coleman when it expires on December 31, 2017. Coleman has served as head football coach for the Golden Lions since 2008.

The Golden Lions went 40-70 in 10 years under Coleman, including capturing UAPB's first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference outright championship in 2012 with a 10-2 record. Since that championship season, however, the Golden Lions experienced consecutive losing seasons of 2-9 in 2013, 4-7 in 2014, 2-9 in 2015, 1-10 in 2016 and 2-9 this season. Director of Athletics Lonza Hardy Jr. said it was time to make a change and move the program in another direction.

"I thank Coach Coleman and his staff for the hard work they put forth over the years as he tried to build a formidable program at UAPB," said Hardy. "We wish him all the best as he now looks to the next chapter in his career. As for UAPB, it was simply time for us to make a change and start the process of returning Golden Lion football to prominence."

A search committee has been formed and has the goal of naming a new head coach prior to the start of the December holiday break. Until then, Ted White, offensive coordinator, will oversee the program. The assistant coaching staff will remain intact and continue the program's recruitment efforts.

"Our search committee will identify and interview prospective coaches who are committed to the mission and vision of our University, the welfare of our student-athletes, both academically and athletically, and have innovative ideas and game strategies. We need someone who will put a premium on winning consistently," said Hardy.

For any questions, please contact UAPB Sports Information Director Habtom Keleta at (870) 575-7949.


Mississippi Valley State Release Head Football Coach Rick Comegy

ITTA BENA, Mississippi -- Statement from Mississippi Valley State University:

We have decided that the contract of Head Football Coach Rick Comegy, which ends on Dec. 31, 2017, will not be renewed. We are thankful to Coach Comegy for his commitment to the Delta Devils over the past four seasons. We appreciate Coach Comegy for his service to MVSU, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

As we transition, Vincent Dancy, will serve as MVSU's interim head football coach, and a search committee will begin the process of selecting our next head football coach immediately.


Monday, November 20, 2017

FAMU Marching 100 debut first new uniforms in 15 years

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- The FAMU Marching 100 debuted their first new uniforms in nearly 15 years.

The new uniforms, along with new instruments and a branded trailer to carry band equipment, were revealed at the Florida Classic on Saturday thanks to over $500,000 in donations. The orange, green and black outfits began with a donation from FAMU alumni Bernard and Shirley Kinsey who put in $250,000. That was quickly matched by the Office of Academic Affairs.

"Now, with the new uniforms, begins a new era," Band President Justin Fitzpatrick said. "It will be exciting to see where the program goes from here."

More than 300 uniforms were custom designed for all 241 band members, including special uniforms for the drum majors and flag corps. The uniforms also include a patch on the cuffs of the original Rattler mascot the band has used sinice 1972.

The uniforms, along with the band, will be in the national spotlight when the Marching 100 take part in the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.