FAMU works for stronger fundraising, improved winning culture and facility upgrades in 2022

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Florida A&M’s athletics department enjoyed unprecedented success in 2021.

Highlights included the SWAC membership, a clothing deal with Nike and LeBron James, postseason spots for the NCAA in football and volleyball, and soaring measures on the social media platforms.

Officials were happy with overall production last year. Now that the university is open for business again, staff members are set to upgrade the FAMU brand in 2022.

“Rattler Nation has seen what this place can be like when we go in the right direction,” said Deputy Athletic Director / FAMU Chief of Staff Keith McCluney.

“We have had successful campaigns. It was a joint effort of loyal supporters. Members of the Rattler Athletic Fund, Investing in Champions, Trustees of the National Alumni Association and members of the Gaither Society who made a significant investment in athletics. We have that to look forward to and more in 2022. ”

Fundraising strategies will be strengthened this year. There are plans to expand to new towns with large alumni bases.

The National FAMU Alumni Association will also hold its annual gathering in Tallahassee this summer.

Former FAMU member Teddy Gilmore poses with Kortne Gosha holding a check for $ 44,425 while visiting the Strike Tour in Chicago.

FAMU football wants to climb higher in 2022

FAMU Vice President / Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha frequently describes athletics as “the porch of the university”.

With this in mind, football serves as the cover photo on the property’s brochure.

In the aftermath of a canceled 2020 season due to the pandemic, the Rattlers shone in 2021, winning an all-round offer in the FCS playoffs.

Since taking office in December 2017, head coach Willie Simmons has strengthened the FAMU brand. He went from 6-5 in 2018 to a back-to-back 9-2 record.

Florida A&M Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons and FAMU representatives pose for a photo with the Florida Classic Trophy.  The Florida A&M Rattlers defeated the Bethune Cookman Wildcats 46-21 in the Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium on Saturday, November 20, 2021.

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Opinions were divided regarding the distinction of the national black college football champion in 2021.

The NCAA HBCU power rankings ranked FAMU as the No. 1 team in the country. However, polls like BOXTOROW had South Carolina State as the top team. FAMU was third in the vote.

Simmons is not influenced by any rejection of distinctions.

Its priority objective for 2022 is to ensure the health and educational well-being of its players.

After that, he collects wins every weekend.

“This program continues to climb to higher heights,” said Simmons.

“For us it’s about having the best offseason. It starts with guys coming back focused on keeping their safety with COVID peaking. Guys need to take care of themselves to be in class and get stronger. “

Florida A&M Rattlers wide receiver Jah'Marae Sheread (10) kicks the ball in a FAMU-Grambling State University game at Bragg Memorial Stadium on their way home from FAMU on Saturday, October 30, 2021.

The coaching staff will continue to push for quality depth.

With a crop of transfers ready for registration, Simmons looks forward to some energetic competitive battles when spring camp begins in March.

“We can’t wait to see the younger ones take the plunge. Then see how the comebacks react to the competition. We also have good transfers. To be the best we can be, it means pushing ourselves and increasing our level of talent.” , said Simmons.

Football calendar for 2022

FAMU football’s opponents are already set for 2022.

He will face his enemies in the SWAC East Division – Jackson State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Mississippi Valley State and Bethune-Cookman.

This year, the flip flops team welcomes Alabama A&M and Mississippi Valley State to Bragg Memorial Stadium. His clash against the State of Alabama will take place in Montgomery.

Florida A&M Rattlers running back Terrell Jennings (23) looks to make a cut against Jeffrey Scott of Alabama State at Bragg Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 2, 2021.

FAMU plays Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic over Labor Day weekend. He wraps up the regular season with B-CU in the Florida Classic.

SWAC West crossover teams have not been announced.

Programming for non-conference opponents includes road trips to North Carolina and the state of South Carolina. Albany State is the only non-SWAC home game.

FAMU is expected to publish the football schedule in early February.

Spring sports in 2022

Later this month, the spring programs will once again welcome athletes for the first day of training.

This will be the last stop for FAMU teams competing as rookies in the SWAC.

Every coach and player dresses up for a chance to win a SWAC title in the first season of competition.

The new court design at Lawson Center will carry the official marks of Nike and LeBron James.  This coincides with FAMU's apparel deal with the shoe company and the NBA superstar.

From a facilities perspective, the baseball program will see the biggest change in 2022.

FAMU has confirmed the installation of sod and netting for the Moore-Kittles Field Safety Net.

The work is part of a $ 1.7 million capital project plan. The price of the modifications is $ 400,000.

Follow FAMU beat writer Rory Sharrock on Twitter @ married2game1.

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