Wildcats Are Title Game Bound

Credits: BCU Athletics

Bethune-Cookman eliminates Grambling State at SWAC Tourney

ATLANTA – Colton Olasin was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Santiago Gomez went five strong innings on the bump for Bethune-Cookman on Saturday afternoon in helping the Wildcats secure a 14-4 victory over Grambling State and advance to the title game of the 2023 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament at Russ Chandler Stadium on the campus of Georgia Tech. Sunday’s title game will be between BCU and Florida A&M at 1 p.m., with the game being shown on ESPN3.


Timely hits. Strong starting pitching. And good fielding all played a part for the Wildcats – seeded No. 2 in the Eastern Division, on Saturday at Mac Nease Baseball Park.


Grambling State (25-25) led early-on by plating a pair of runs in the home-half of the first inning.


Kyle Walker smacked a double to left field while first baseman Cameron Bufford walked, with both eventually coming around to score on a triple off the wall in left from Trevor Hatton. That allowed the top-seeded Tigers from the Western Division a 2-0 lead after an inning played.


Bethune-Cookman (33-26) would tie things up in the top of the second inning with two runs of their own.


Boris Peña and Robert Moya each led off the Wildcats at-bat with back-to-back singles. A Colton Olasin single to centerfield allowed Peña to score. Jeremy Garcia followed with an infield second to second base, pushing in Moya to even the ballgame.


The Wildcats took the lead 3-2 after Garret Chun took an RBI base on balls with four-straight pitches and the bases loaded. The lead would grow to 6-2 off the end of a two-out bases-clearing double off the centerfield wall by Hylan Hall that scored Chun, Garcia and Luis Tuero, respectively.


BCU added three runs in the top of the third inning to widen the lead at 9-2.


Moya singled and Manny Souffrain doubled to left, and the lead stretched to 7-2 at that point in favor of the Wildcats. Irvin Escobar tallied an RBI single in his at-bat to put runners on the corners. That set the stage for Olasin to pick up a run-scoring double down the line in left bringing in Souffrain. A Garcia sacrifice fly to right field was deep enough for Escobar to score and make it 9-2.


The Cats would produce another big inning in the top of the fourth with five runs.


Escobar doubled following a Souffrain walk to put runners on the corners. Olasin immediately followed with a two-run single up the middle to make it 11-2. Chun delivered an RBI single with a hot shot through the left side, bringing in Olasin from third. A Hall single to right center crossed Garcia. And a Peña sacrifice fly allowed Tuero to come in from third and advance the BCU lead to 14-2.


That inning for the Maroon and Gold was good enough to put the run-rule into effect.


Grambling produced the final score line of 14-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, using an RBI base on balls drawn by Walker with the bases loaded to score reserve third baseman Daylon Ardoin. The final run was scored courtesy a Bufford single that plated Julian Murphy.


It would be Yoansell Diaz toeing the rubber in relief to get the final three batters with strikeouts.


The win went to BCU starter Santiago Gomez as he upped his record to 2-3 for the season. The right-hander worked five innings, giving up just two runs on three hits, three walks and picking up three strikeouts. The loss went to Grambling starter Lorenzo Petersen, with the Tigers ace throwing just 1.2 innings, allowing six runs on five hits, two walks and adding one strikeout.


The BCU bats were charged by Olasin’s 3-for-4 effort as he added our RBIs and two runs scored of his own. Hall added two hits and four RBIs, while Escobar also supplied two hits for the Cats. Chin punched in two RBIs on one hit, going on to score one run.


The Wildcats now face in-state opponent Florida A&M in the SWAC Championship game on Sunday at 1 p.m.



Lynn Thompson to be inducted in NACDA Hall of Fame

CLEVELAND — The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced the Association’s Hall of Fame Class of 2023. The list of inductees includes: Jim Abbott, Oklahoma City University; Art Becker, Scottsdale Community College; Bob Bowlsby, Stanford University; Bob Driscoll, Providence College; Carl Heinrich, Johnson County Community College; Marilyn McNeil, Monmouth University; Lynn Thompson, Bethune-Cookman University; and Perk Weisenburger, Ferris State University. The group of deserving individuals will be honored in conjunction with the 58th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla., at the beginning of the Association-Wide Featured Session on Monday, June 12, starting at 4 p.m.

Lynn Thompson retired as vice president for intercollegiate athletics at Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) in 2021 after 30 years at the university.

Thompson’s lengthy and impressive resume at B-CU included serving as the first African American to chair the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and as a member on the NCAA Division I-AA Football Committee and the NCAA Football Issues Committees, creating policy for intercollegiate athletics on a national level. He also served the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) as chairman of the MEAC Basketball, Softball, Track and Field and Baseball Tournaments, and was selected five times as an NCAA Peer Reviewer for the athletics certification process.

Thompson served on the NCAA Committee on Academics, overseeing the academic standards of intercollegiate athletics, the recent NCAA APR 2.0 Task Force, and is a Board member of the Florida Sports Foundation.

A former football student-athlete at Bethune-Cookman, Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in 1980. He added a master’s degree from Clark Atlanta in 1984. In 1991, Thompson was named director of athletics at B-CU, and in 2015 he was elevated to the position of vice president for intercollegiate athletics.

The longest-tenured director of athletics in NCAA Division I at the time of his departure from Daytona Beach, Thompson led the Wildcats to a combined 71 championships – 54 of which were in the MEAC – and spearheaded the launch of the CatEye Network. He was recognized as an Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year (ADOY) by NACDA in 2019-20.

In addition to his career in athletics administration, Thompson has written, hosted and produced various television and radio shows throughout the mid-Florida region highlighting Bethune-Cookman athletics. He was inducted into the MEAC Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2016.

Thompson joined the MEAC staff as senior advisor in January 2021. In this role, he researches strategic objectives with the commissioner and conference leadership team, serves as co-liaison to the Strategic & Long-Range Planning Committee, provides guidance and assistance to the Strategic Communications, External Affairs, and Corporate Partnerships departments and assists with the further development of the MEAC Digital Network. He recently served as co-writer and narrator of the recent Los Angeles Rams short film/documentary called Kingfish: The Story of Kenny Washington, the saga of the NFL’s first black player to re-integrate the National Football League (NFL) in 1946, which premiered in February, and has written A Chance for Redemption, a drama for the stage which is in full development and set to premiere in Florida this fall.

Bethune-Cookman University Names Raymond Woodie, Jr. Head Football Coach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University Director of Athletics Reggie Theus announced today (February 6, 2023) the appointment of Raymond Woodie as Head Football Coach. Woodie, 49, becomes the 16th head coach of Bethune-Cookman Football.

Raymond Woodie Jr. -Credits The Atlantic

“A new era at Bethune-Cookman University begins today,” said Interim President Lawrence M. Drake II, Ph.D. “Word of our pending new leadership has been hard to contain, so we are thrilled to officially welcome Raymond back home to Bethune-Cookman University. Throughout our search process, we stressed the need for a leader who understands our university’s history, traditions, and values, in addition to possessing firm athletic leadership prowess. Coach Woodie embodies each of these qualities.”

Woodie, a four-year letterwinner as a linebacker and 1996 graduate of Bethune-Cookman College, takes the helm of Wildcats Football following an impressive career as an assistant coach at numerous Power 5 schools including Florida Atlantic University (2020-22), Florida State University (2018-19), the University of Oregon (2017) and the University of South Florida (2013-16).

“We are elated to have Raymond Woodie, Jr. return to Bethune-Cookman University to lead our storied football program,” Director of Athletics Reggie Theus said.  We felt confident in his experience, his leadership, and his ability to embrace the spirit of our founder, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in this 100th year of B-CU football.  We are locked in the vision for providing a championship culture through his detailed plan for recruiting academically talented student athletes, along with a sustained desire to provide a high-level experience.  It’s evidently clear why Coach Woodie has had terrific success in his journey; and we look forward to his return to Daytona Beach and starting this new era.”

Woodie has been recognized as one of the premier recruiters in college football, serving as an assistant under Head Coach Willie Taggart across multiple coaching stops. He has recruited seven players that were eventually selected in the NFL Draft.

“As a parent, Coach Woodie is the type of person you want your son coached by,” said Leslie Frazier, Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator of the Buffalo Bills. “He is a tremendous leader, person of integrity, and will do the right thing at all costs. Your son will be mentored and treated in the right way. He’s the ideal choice and I look forward to him having much success at his alma mater, Bethune Cookman.”

During his time with Oregon in 2017, Woodie was named the No. 1 recruiter in the PAC-12, as well as No. 13 in the nation by 247 Sports. Woodie led the way in signing the American Athletic Conference’s top-ranked classes in 2014 and 2015, in addition to the top class in the Sun Belt Conference in 2010 and 2011. Woodie was named AAC Top Recruiter by Rivals in 2014, and Sun Belt Recruiter of the Year by Scout/FoxSports.com in 2012.

“Coach Woodie is an unbelievable recruiter and an even better person,” said Forrest Lamp, NFL offensive lineman and one of Woodie’s recruits at Western Kentucky. “Coach Woodie hasn’t coached me in 10 years but has stayed in contact the entire time. I think that says more about the man than any stat could. He truly cares and always has the kids’ best interest in mind. I am so excited to see what the future holds for Coach Woodie and the Wildcats!”

Most recently, Woodie served as Associate Head Coach at Florida Atlantic, where he worked primarily with special teams and oversaw all aspects of recruiting in the role of recruiting coordinator for the Owls. 

“I am extremely happy for Raymond Jr. and Stephanie,” Said Coach Willie Taggart.  “Bethune Cookman University is getting a man of God, and a leader of men. He is an outstanding recruiter and a coach that will get the best out of his student athletes and staff, on and off the field. Raymond Jr. will make the Wildcat nation proud!”

In his time as a student-athlete at Bethune-Cookman, Woodie was a two-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) First Team Defense selection, as well as a two-time Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) All-America selection. He was also the first Bethune-Cookman student-athlete to be named a GTE Academic All-American and have $25,000 donated to the University in his name.

The right guy for the Bethune-Cookman head coaching job is still available.

We have all heard stories of fortune favoring the unsuspecting. You know, those tales of serendipity when a heartbroken individual seems to randomly cross paths with the one who will become the love of their life. Or when a homeowner purchases a property that needs a little TLC only to discover a hidden treasure in the backyard. In the case of Bethune-Cookman and its vacant head football coaching position, that hidden blessing could very well be Raymond Woodie.

Credits: Oregon Athletics
Credits: Oregon Athletics– Raymond Woodie

To cut straight to the point, BETHUNE-COOKMAN NEEDS TO HIRE RAYMOND WOODIE. Yes we used all caps and yes the decision is that simple in my mind. BCU should offer Woodie the job and bug him until they get an answer.

It makes too much sense. It’s almost a no-brainer in fact. Raymond Woodie feels like the right hire for a multitude of reasons.

I am fully aware that there are several capable and highly qualified coaches who are still interested in the job but Coach Woodie checks many boxes others just simply do not.

First, he is a Wildcat. Check that…he is a Wildcat legend.

Woodie was a two time All-American at both safety and linebacker. If you ever remind Coach Woodie about his All-American honors, he will quickly remind you that he was also an Academic All-American and at the time of his departure, BCU’s single season sack leader with 14.5 in 1994.

I never advocate for hiring an alum just for the sake of hiring an alum, but when considering all of the uproar around the program as well as the dissonance and almost post-traumatic reflexes many alumni seem to suffer from currently, Coach Woodie could serve as an emotional healing balm for the school’s supporters. That might be an over-exaggeration of things but Cookman people need something to feel excited about and Woodie provides that. BCU folks need to be able to celebrate BCU folks right now.

In fact, before the Ed Reed fallout, before the Roland Martin hyperattention and before the dozens of editorials on the status of Bethune-Cookman, HailWildcats.com polled the fans on who should replace Terry Sims as head coach. Our November 2022 poll received over 1,800 votes and Raymond Woodie was the overwhelming fan favorite. Woodie received nearly half of the votes while interestingly enough, Ed Reed who was also mentioned in that poll, received the lowest vote total (around 7%).

Second, he is a heck of a recruiter and he is proven.

Just how good of a recruiter is Coach Woodie, check out the guys he signed while at Oregon, Florida State, Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky: Tyler Higbee, Asante Samuels Jr, Forest Lamp, Dede Lattimore are just some of the names Coach Woodie landed.

Woodie was ranked as the No. 2 recruiter in the ACC by 247Sports in 2018 despite having less than two months to recruit for the Seminoles after he was hired. Rivals named him as the top recruiter in the Sun Belt in 2012, top recruiter in the AAC in 2014 and top recruiter in the PAC-12 in 2017.

Good teams are loaded with good players and Woodie signs great players.

Woodie’s defenses posted pretty good stats while at Florida State and Oregon too. At FSU where he coached linebackers in 2018, opponents were held to 3.5 yards rushing per carry. That number was second in the ACC. He served as linebacker coach and special teams coordinator for the Ducks in 2017. Oregon finished in the Top 25 nationally in turnovers forced and rushing defense under Woodie.

He is a fundraiser.

Raymond Woodie led Palmetto High School to the District Championship in 2008. He also designed and raised $1.2 million for a new field house for the Palmetto football program that year.

It just makes sense.

It’s hard to imagine a better candidate for the BCU job considering Woodie is Cookman-Man, with a proven record as a recruiter, coach and fundraiser. It. Just. Makes. Sense.

Stephen Holmes: Who Are The Winners Of The BCU/Ed Reed Saga – Wildcat Wearhouse

By: Stephen Holmes    No one. There are no winners. Bethune-Cookman University, Ed Reed, students, faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, The Daytona Beach community, parents, athletes, recruits, and anyone else associated with this storied institution took a loss. What was shaping up to be one of the most significa
— Read on mywildcatwearhouse.com/blogs/news/stephen-holmes-who-are-the-winners-of-the-bcu-ed-reed-saga

Ed Reed and Bethune-Cookman part ways

Ed Reed announced today that Bethune-Cookman University will not ratify the Principle in Agreement between him and the university. As a result, Reed will not serve as the next head football coach for BCU.

Reed shared the news via a press release through his foundation and confirmed the information on Instagram Live on Saturday morning. A copy of the press release is shown below.

Stay tuned to HailWildcats.com for more updates and developments.

Is Bethune-Cookman Ready To Be Under The Microscope? – Wildcat Wearhouse

Stephen Holmes  The second Deion Sanders stepped foot on Jackson State University’s campus, they were immediately thrust into the national spotlight whether they wanted to be or not. Sander’s personality and brand is just that big. For better or worse, JSU received exposure and attention that they could never pay for t
— Read on mywildcatwearhouse.com/blogs/news/is-bethune-cookman-ready-to-be-under-the-microscope

Tune in to the “HailWildcats Xs and Os Show” Season Finale Tonight, 12/1/22 @ 8:00pm

Hey Wildcat Fans do not miss tonight’s show.

The “Hailwildcats.com X’s & O’s Show”, hosted by our Arm Chair QBs, will air its Season Finale tonight, Thursday, December 1st from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Tune in live on WAIG JOY 106.3 on your FM dial or online at http://www.joy1063fm.com to join the guys and let your opinion be heard.

You may also tune in live on:





The “Hailwildcats.com X’s and O’s Show” is a live TWO hour fan interactive sports radio talk show with a focus on Bethune Cookman Football.

Sponsored by: Alpha1 Staffing/ Search Firm and Pro First Sports Management.