Bethune-Cookman will have a new head football coach in the 2023 season as the university announced earlier today that Terry Sims has been relieved of his duties.
Sims enjoyed a modicum of success at Bethune finishing with one share of the MEAC crown in 2015, one conference Coach of the Year Award (2015), and a 5-2 record over in-state rival Florida A&M. However, Sims overall record of 38-39 and back to back 2-9 seasons ultimately ended his run as head ball coach in Daytona Beach.
While Athletic Director, Reggie Theus, stated a national coaching search for Sims’ replacement would commence immediately, we keep hearing the names of several individuals who are rumored to be interested in the position.
Here are the Top 5 names that we are hearing as possible replacements for the BCU head coaching position.
Kevin Sumlin, Head Coach, Houston Gamblers (USFL)
Coach Sumlin currently has a pretty cool gig serving as Head Coach and General Manager of the USFL’s Houston Gamblers. However, Coach Sumlin has ties to the Daytona Beach area and HBCU roots considering both of his parents are HBCU alums. We have it on pretty good authority that he is open to the idea of returning to the college ranks and leading the Bethune-Cookman program.
Sumlin’s quarterback tree is absolutely ridiculous having coached Drew Bledsoe at Washington State, Drew Brees at Purdue, and Heisman Trophy winners Jason White (Oklahoma), Sam Bradford (Oklahoma), and Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M).
Sumlin is also a program builder having revitalized both Houston and Texas A&M’s gridiron programs.
If Reggie Theus or the folks at Bethune are listening, make the call and make an offer to Coach Sumlin immediately. It makes sense for all of the right reasons.
Brian Jenkins, Former Head Coach, Bethune-Cookman
Brian Jenkins had one of the most meteoric rises that we have seen among HBCU head coaches. He arrived at Bethune-Cookman as a relative unknown in 2010. By the time he departed BCU at the end of the 2014 season, he accumulated a 46-14 record, he won at least 8 games in each season, he had two 10 win seasons, he won or shared the MEAC crown in four of his five seasons, won two Black College National Championships, had two wins over FBS opponents and three playoff appearances. What a ride!
Jenkins enjoyed less success at Alabama State going 9-17 before being released midseason in 2017; but if the Wildcats could catch lightning in a bottle a second time, Jenkins is your guy.
Raymond Woodie, Associate Head Coach, FAU
Coach Woodie is a “Cookman Man” through and through. He earned both 1-AA All-American honors and Academic All-American honors during his playing days at BCU. Woodie’s accolades continued to pour in during his coaching career being named as the PAC-12’s #1 recruiter in 2017 while at Oregon, the Sun Belt’s Top recruiter while at Western Kentucky and the AAC’s Top recruiter while at FAU. He was named as the ACC’s #2 recruiter while at FSU.
Woodie has proven he can recruit and you need players in order to win. We confirmed Coach Woodie’s interest in the position. If the Wildcats are willing to take a chance on another first time head coach, Raymond Woodie is likely to receive strong consideration.
Ed Reed, NFL Hall of Famer
We have no concrete information to suggest that Ed Reed is interested in the gig; however, his name has been rumored about for the past year and a half. While Reed was one of the best football players we have ever witnessed, he only has 1 year of coaching experience spending the 2016 season as a DB coach with the Buffalo Bills. What Reed does bring is name recognition and intrigue.
Ray Lewis, NFL Hall of Famer
Copy and paste the same information we mentioned about Ed Reed except with Ray Lewis, he has no coaching experience. Both Lewis and Reed are huge risk reward candidates (if they are candidates at all). You may end up with something akin to Coach Prime at Jackson State if you go the Reed or Lewis route; or you could get stuck with something on the opposite end of the spectrum like Coach Eddie George at Tennessee State.
Just to restate the obvious, this list is purely speculative. It’s not necessarily unfounded speculation but it’s speculation nonetheless. That notwithstanding, let us know what you think. Which of these candidates would you most like to see lead the Wildcats next season? Chime in by voting in the poll below.