By Calvin Sykes
MIAMI, FL – The Tim “Ice” Harris era is officially underway at Florida Memorial University.
Harris will take over as FMU relaunches its football program to begin to play in fall 2020.
The former head coach at Miami’s Booker T. Washington, led the program to three state championships, including 2013 national championships as well as being a three-time winner of the Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year Award.
Harris was introduced at a press conference Monday night by Athletic Director Ernest Jones and FMU President Dr. Jaffus Hardrick. The press conference was attended by FMU supporters, family, and former members of his coaching staff.
“Florida Memorial Rebirth program has some excitement,” Dr. Hardrick said. “I am looking forward to where we about to go. I am looking forward to building a winning tradition.”
Athletic Director Ernest T. Jones said that the interview process happened on campus, and it included five candidates. Harris became Florida Memorial’s top choice for the position.
There’s a commitment from the fan base when it comes to the support of the new FMU football program. At the press conference, Bernard Jennings presented a check for $1, 000 to the Lions Booster Club and challenged other alumni to give as well.
Florida Memorial National Alumni Association President Rochelle Hill has already expressed the group’s efforts to fundraise for the season.
“Fundraising is the biggest thing that we are doing right now,” Hill said. “Bernard Jennings gave a thousand tonight, and we have other alumni that gave $5,000. We just another fundraising, and we have another fundraiser where all the proceeds will go to football. We want to make sure it[football season] happens, so we are prepared to make sure we raise the money needed.”
FMU athletic staff will look to build the fall 2020 schedule in the spring.
Part of FMU’s attempts to building a powerhouse will include recruiting from South Florida, Harris said.
Harris said one of the challenges will be putting a staff of 10 together due to the procedures set by FMU. He said that he hasn’t started the process of looking to hire staff.
“In high school, I can hire a guy on the spot,” he said. ”He would start working that day. At Florida Memorial, it will be a different setup in terms of the hiring process.”