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HBCU Football

7 HBCU football coaches fired or resign

Jay Walker: ‘Some of the institutions have not provided these coaches the resources needed to win’

With the success of first-year Howard University football coach Mike London, the need to win — and win relatively soon — has become a thing, prompting some historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to pivot and search for their guy to take them to the next level.

“To be fair, most of these coaches’ contracts were up,” said ESPN college football analyst Jay Walker. “[James] Spady was up, [Monte] Coleman was up, Alex Wood [at Florida A&M] was up. Some of the changes are justifiable, but I also believe that some of the institutions have not provided these coaches the resources needed to win.

“If you want to use Howard as an example, the biggest change there was that Mike had the benefit of the school making a commitment to the program from the very top, something I’d like to see more institutions do,” Walker said of Howard, which finished third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at 7-4 (6-2 in conference) behind emerging quarterback Caylin Newton. “At the very least, these schools owe that to these coaches and to the student-athletes.”


Rick Comegy: Mississippi Valley State fired Comegy after four seasons and a 6-38 record, including 2-9 this year. He previously coached in the conference for eight seasons at Jackson State, where he compiled a record of 55-35.

Monte Coleman: Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Coleman part ways after 10 seasons. The Super Bowl-winning former linebacker with the Washington Redskins was 40-70 overall, including 2-9 this season.

Kenny Carter: Delaware State’s Carter was fired after going 3-30 over three seasons, including 2-9 this year. It’s a particularly tough time for the Hornets, who also dismissed athletic director Skip Perkins.

Brian Jenkins: Alabama State coach Jenkins was dismissed five games into the season and four days after Quinton Ross took over as the school’s new president. Jenkins was in his third season at Alabama State, where he finished with a record of 10-17 (8-12 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference).

Connell Maynor: Maynor resigned two days after Hampton finished a 6-5 season (5-3 in the MEAC) with a 20-17 victory over rival Howard. In four seasons, Maynor had a 20-25 record, including two winning seasons.

James Spady: Alabama A&M fired Spady after he went 15-30 in four seasons, including 4-7 this year. Under his tenure, the Bulldogs went 13-21 in SWAC games.

Alex Wood: After three seasons at Florida A&M, Wood’s contract, which was set to expire at the end of December, was not renewed. He had a 8-25 record, including 3-8 this season, and the Rattlers lost to rival Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Classic for the seventh consecutive season.

Mark W. Wright is a Charlotte-based sports journalist and documentarian.