2023 Football

Florida A&M football coach Willie Simmons up for FCS COTY

Florida A&M head coach Willie Simmons is up for the 2023 Eddie Robinson Award for FCS coach of the year.

Courtesy: Florida A&M

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –– Florida A&M football is having its best season since entering the 2000s, and a large part is due to Head Coach Willie Simmons at the helm. Coach Simmons continues to have more accolades as he is named an Eddie Robinson Award Finalist for the FCS National Coach of the Year.

Under Simmons’ leadership this season, Florida A&M football finished the regular season with its highest national ranking since 1998 at five and had their first ten-win season since 1999. Also, FAMU possesses the nation’s number-one total defense. The FAMU defense also finished the season ranked top-19 in 11 categories.

FAMU Head Coach WIllie Simmons
Florida A&M football coach Willie Simmons.

Defensive Rankings (Top-19)

• 19th – Passing Yards Allowed

• 16th – 1st Down Defense

• 8th – Red Zone Defense

• 6th – Sacks

• 4th – Defensive Touchdowns

• 3rd – Passing Efficiency Defense

• 2nd – 3rd Down Defense

• 2nd – Rushing Defense

• 2 – Scoring Defense

• 1st – Tackles for Loss

• 1st – Total Defense

The Rattlers also ranked top-30 in other statistical categories, including punt return defense (30th), kickoff return defense (28th), scoring offense (27th), passing yards per completion (27th), passes intercepted (26th), time of possession (26th), sacks allowed (25th), blocked punts (18th), and punt returns (14th).

Florida A&M football continued to make history this season after going 8-0 in the SWAC and winning their first SWAC East Championship. FAMU will host its first-ever SWAC Championship Game on December 2 versus Prairie View A&M. Since joining the SWAC, they have possessed the best conference record with a 22-2 record in three seasons. The Rattlers also possess the nation’s second-longest winning streak (9 games), home game winning streak (19 games), and conference game winning streak (15 games).

Previous HBCU coaches to win the award include Dr. Henry Frazier (Prairie View) and Deion Sanders (Jackson State). The complete list of finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award can be found here.

Florida A&M football coach Willie Simmons up for FCS COTY
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