Sunday, March 20, 2016

FAMU Athletics Mourns The Loss Of Two Rattlers


TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- FAMU Athletics mourns the loss of two members of their family. Mary Adams, who recently served as Assistant Athletic Director for Business Operations, transitioned on Mar. 6 in Tallahassee. Anthony "Tony" Messina, a former assistant coach and film coordinator, transitioned on Mar. 17th in Tallahassee.

Adams, came to FAMU Athletics with a host of experience in finance, including decades of experience in the banking industry. She served as the director of the athletic department's business operations for nearly a decade, before being elevated to the position of assistant athletic director. In her position she handled all aspects of the department's business affairs, including but not limited to travel, department revenues and overseeing the entire athletic department budget.

Messina enjoyed a hall of fame career at FAMU. The energetic New England native was a part of FAMU football for over two decades, serving under Rudy Hubbard, Ken Riley and Billy Joe. He served dual roles as the team's cinematographer/film coordinator and kicking coach. He enjoyed a successful career molding eight kickers into All-MEAC selections and five of those into All-Americans.

"In any athletic department, there are more people working behind the scenes than there are on any given game day. On behalf of FAMU Athletics, I salute the work of these two outstanding Rattlers. Our prayers are with their families and we request the same from our Rattler nation," FAMU Director of Athletics Milton Overton said.


Tony Messina remembered for fun-loving attitude, dedication

Messina was inducted into FAMU’s Hall of Fame in 2007

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Anthony “Tony” Messina’s legacy at Florida A&M is about more than the prowess of the kickers he coached.

He coached some of FAMU’s all-time great legs, but those players still talk about the time they spent away from the gridiron with a man who, above all else, was excited about life.

“You never knew where a day of practice would take us,” said James Vertuno, a former place kicker who Messina coached to All-MEAC and All-American honors. “We’d laugh all day in between kicks.”

Messina, a Watertown, Mass., native, died Thursday at the age of 81. He worked at FAMU from 1980 until 2002, starting as a film coordinator and eventually coaching special teams. Under Messina, FAMU produced eight All-MEAC kickers and five All-Americans, including Vertuno.

Rudy Hubbard, head football coach when Messina came to FAMU, said Messina had no troubles pulling double duty, and was a consistently-reliable coach. Hubbard said Messina’s miltary background – 22 years with the U.S. Coast Guard – came through in his punctuatiality and dedication to getting the job done.


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