Tuskegee University has appointed Willie Slater as the institution’s athletics director, effective July 1. Slater, who has nearly 40 years athletics and coaching experience, will remain the university’s head football coach.
“Coach Slater has demonstrated his leadership skills on the field, and I look forward to him bringing that same level of success and excellence to the duties of Tuskegee University’s athletics director,” said Dr. Charlotte Morris, the university’s interim president.
As athletics director, Slater will advance the university’s NCAA Division II athletic program by overseeing budgeting, compliance, operations, student-athlete recruitment, and professional staffing and development. He also will report to the Office of the President and serve as a member of the president’s Executive Cabinet.
“I am excited to lead the athletics programs of one of the nation’s most historic institutions in the country, and I am extremely grateful to Dr. Morris and the Board of Trustees for this opportunity,” Slater said. “I am quite familiar with Tuskegee athletics, so I understand the expectation of excellence this position demands and I look forward to working with our coaches, students and administrators so that we can do something great here.”
This fall, Slater begins his 12th season as Tuskegee’s head football coach — his 39th season coaching. His coaching record at Tuskegee is 101-27, which ranks him second all-time in wins at the university. He is known widely for being the first head coach in school history to earn a bid in the NCAA Division II Playoffs, which occurred following the 2013 season. One season later, in 2014, the Golden Tigers made a historical run that reached the quarterfinals (the Super 2 Region championship game) against West Georgia. The team finished with a 10-3 record overall and second in the SIAC West Division. Under Slater’s guidance, the team has made a total of four playoff appearances.
His coaching accolades include being named the 2012 SIAC Coach of the Year by The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., and the 2007 National Coach of the Year by the Sheridan Broadcasting Network — a year in which he led Tuskegee to a perfect 12-0 record and the HBCU title. Additionally, Slater has been tabbed as the SIAC Coach of the Year five times (2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014).
Slater’s career includes 33 years of coaching at the collegiate level, and 18 years as an offensive coordinator at multiple levels. He joined the Tuskegee staff as the head coach in 2006 after serving as the offensive coordinator at Temple University in 2005 under Bobby Wallace. His first stop as a full-time collegiate coach came Troy University (1983-90), where he served as the running backs coach under Chan Gailey (1983-84). In total, he spent eight seasons with the Trojans, also working as the quarterbacks and running backs coach. After leaving Troy University and before coaching at Temple, Slater had in-state coaching stints at the University of West Alabama, University of North Alabama and Jacksonville State University.
Courtesy: Tuskegee Athletics