While Jackson State coach Deion Sanders has been tied to several FBS openings, Willie Simmons has quietly been viewed as a candidate for vacancies, too.
In a report by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Simmons — the Florida A&M coach — is viewed as a name to watch for the open Florida Atlantic job after the school fired Willie Taggart on Saturday.
Wrote Feldman about Simmons:
“Simmons, 42, has done an outstanding job as a head coach at the FCS level, with a 51-23 record over seven years at Prairie View A&M and Florida A&M. He is 18-5 the past two years; the Rattlers had endured six consecutive losing seasons before Simmons took over. He’s also in play for the USF vacancy.”
Feldman also named Cleveland Browns defensive line coach Chris Kiffin, Ole Miss offensive coordinator Charlie Weis Jr. and Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles among others as possible candidates.
“With great success comes attention,” Simmons told The Tallahassee Democrat earlier this month. “It’s not all about me. I’m blessed to be around a great group of coaches and players.
“Because of the success we’ve had here, my name comes up a lot when it comes to head coaches that have a chance to ascend in this profession.”
Simmons said he hadn’t heard from any other schools reportedly interested in him and that he will remain at FAMU.