For the second time in less than two months, Bethune Cookman is in the market for a new head football coach after the controversial ouster of Ed Reed.
The institution now finds itself with the unenviable task of finding the right man to steady the ship during this tumultuous time in program history. As they begin this unexpected search in earnest, here are some names that should draw their attention.
Courtney Coard, defensive coordinator, North Carolina Central
Last season marked Coard’s return to his alma mater where he was a four-year starter at defensive tackle and a member of two CIAA championship squads in 2005 and 2006.
In his first season as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, Coard led a defense that was first in the MEAC, allowing 20.4 points per game. When the opponents got in the red zone, the N.C. Central defensive unit was the stingiest in the MEAC, allowing points at a 65.8% rate. The Eagles’ defense held five opponents under 100 rushing yards this season, including just 68 yards to Jackson State in the Celebration Bowl.
Rashean Mathis, former Bethune-Cookman defensive back, NFL player
This is a name that will ring familiar for Bethune-Cookman fans as Mathis was a standout four-year starter at defensive back for the Wildcats from 1999-2002. In 2002, Mathis set both the B-CU and FCS interception record with 14. He was later taken in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2003 NFL Draft. A 2006 Pro Bowler, Mathis would go on to play in 175 professional games, recording 32 interceptions. He was inducted into the Bethune Cookman Hall of Fame in 2016.
Given his connection to the program, Mathis could be the perfect choice to galvanize a fractured and frustrated fanbase.
Quinton Morgan, head coach, Langston
In his seven seasons at Langston, Morgan has compiled a 47-14 record and won the three Sooner Athletic Conference titles. This past season Morgan’s team featured 17 players who garnered SAC All-Conference honors.
Lawal McCray, assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator, Bethune Cookman
McCray has been the Wildcats’ tight ends coach for the past 12 seasons, having most recently overseen the development of First Team All-SWAC member Kemari Averett. McCray has also compiled more than 20 years of coaching experience and also suited up for the Wildcats from 1987-88.