FAMU loses talented assistant coach to Power 5 squad

FAMU found out once again that a good, young FCS assistant coach is hard to keep around for a while. Here’s what Willie Simmons had to say.

FAMU football had a secret weapon in 2022. 

Willie Simmons added Chili Davis to the coaching roster as a special teams coordinator.  He was seemingly the missing piece to FAMU’s stellar special teams play where they won virtually every head-to-head matchup in that phase of the game. Simmons stresses that you must have great special team to be a great team and Davis was a big addition to the success of FAMU’s special teams performance last season.

Davis announced via a Tweet that he was departing FAMU for a position with Kansas State on Saturday. This move from the FCS level to an FBS position is a goal of most assistant coaches.  In just one season, Davis’ prowess with special teams boded well for the Rattler squad who landed on the first team All-SWAC in punter Chris Faddoul and kicker Jose Romo Martinez.

“I truly appreciate you for allowing me to grow and learn,” Davis said, tweeting a photo of he and Simmons. “A1 program and I’m thankful to have been a part of it. It was a pleasure working with you all, and also coaching all the wonderful men on the team. I wish you guys nothing but success going forward.”

FAMU All-SWAC punter Chris Faddoul

Simmons has often said that successful coaches have successful coaching trees under them.  

“I was once an assistant looking to move up in this profession, so I know exactly what they are faced with,” Simmons told HBCU Gameday. “While a part of me wants them here with us, it would be selfish not to see the opportunity head,” Simmons said after previously losing an assistant coach after the pandemic year of 2020.

On Davis, he expressed the same sentiment.  

“Coach Davis brought life, energy and excitement into our special teams units last year and he was a vital part of our overall success. Kansas State got a future star in this profession. We wish he, his wife Kiandra and their newborn nothing but the best moving forward!”

Simmons referred to Davis in several postgame press conferences last season.  Referring to Davis as a “technician,” several plays called by Davis on special teams changed the direction of the games.  None was more evident than on a critical fourth down at the Florida Blue Florida Classic.  B-CU had stopped the Rattlers on the plus side of the field.  Davis called for a fake punt with the tight end slipping into an open area and FAMU punter Chris Faddoul hitting him was a safe pass to gain the first down and keep the drive going that grinded out the clock and preserved the Rattlers’ 41-20 victory.

Simmons said an immediate search for another special teams coach is underway.

FAMU loses talented assistant coach to Power 5 squad
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