WILBERFORCE, Ohio — Legendary Florida A&M University and Central State University football coach William “Billy” Joe will be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
Joe was one of six inductees selected from a list of 25 finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.
Joe’s coaching career began in 1972 at Cheney University. He also spent two seasons on the pro level as an assistant coach for the Philadelphia Eagles before arriving at Central State in 1981.
It took little time for Joe to turn the Marauders into a perennial powerhouse. His 1983 team finished the regular season 10-0 and went on to a NCAA Div. II finals appearance. Joe led the Marauders to five consecutive Black College national championships from 1986 to 1990. The pinnacle of his tenure in Wilberforce came in 1990 and 1992 when his teams won the NAIA Div. I National Championship.
Joe also coached at Florida A&M from 1994 to 2004. He led the Rattlers to an unprecedented five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles. After a two year hiatus from coaching, Joe accepted the head coaching position at Miles College in 2007. He retired in 2010 with 243 career coaching victories. He is second to only Eddie Robinson in wins at historically black colleges.
Prior to coaching, Joe had on outstanding career as a player. Drafted by the Denver Broncos in the ninth round out of Villanova in 1963, Joe made an immediate impact and was named the AFL Rookie of the Year. After being traded to Buffalo, Joe helped lead the Bills to their 1965 AFL championship victory over the San Diego Chargers. He later played for the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets.
Joe is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Central State University Athletics Hall of Fame. His number 35 jersey is officially retired at Villanova University.
The Coach Billy Joe File (243 wins 133 losses, 2 ties):
Billy Joe made the transition from a successful professional playing career to becoming one the most highly decorated black college football coaches in history. After two seasons as an assistant coach he got his first head coaching job at Cheyney State in 1972. He had a winning club that first season and stayed with the Wolves for six more years. Joe then honed his skills with two years as an assistant in the NFL before taking the head job at Central State (OH). There he turned the Marauders into a national black college power. In 13 years at CSU he had six seasons where he lost only one game. His second team made it to the NCAA Division II finals, the first of 11 consecutive playoff teams. In both 1990 and 1992 his teams won the NAIA national championship. In 1994, he moved to Florida A&M. Joe quickly built this program as well. His second team won a league title while his third went to the first of six straight playoff appearances with his 1999 team advancing to the national semi-finals. On the Black College level he won six national championships and is second only to Eddie Robinson on the all-time black coaching win list. Greatly respected by his peers, he served the American Football Coaches Association as both president and vice president.