BCU Football: 5 Possible Coaching Candidates to Replace Terry Sims – Poll Attached

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.

Prime vs. Shine: A Spectacle in HBCU Sports History

On the eve of Bethune-Cookman University hosting Jackson State at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL for a Southwestern Athletic Conference East divisional showdown, I sat down and thought about what a dream scenario could’ve potentially been.

You know the generational conversations; the ones discussed in barbershops, sports bars, and on podcasts. The ones where you debate how things might have turned out if the events could’ve taken place:

  • 1987 Lakers vs 2001 Lakers
  • 1996 Bulls vs. 2016 Warriors
  • 1985 Bears vs. 2007 Patriots
  • 1999 FAMU Rattlers vs. 2002 B-CU Wildcats

As long as I can remember, these conversations have dominated the sports lexicon among fans. If we were to examine this through an HBCU lens, what could this game have been if a few things were different?

Yes folks, I’m talking about the “Brawl for it all in Duval.”

Or more eloquently stated, “Prime vs. Shine.”

For longtime fans and supporters of the university located in “The World’s Most Famous Beach,” the attention, swag, flash, and flair Jackson State head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders has brought to the SWAC is nothing new to the Wildcat faithful. They’ve seen this movie before. In fact, some would argue that B-CU and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall of Famer Alvin “Shine” Wyatt is the architect of HBCU flamboyant coaches. Long before it was popular, and quite frankly considered off-putting by his coaching peers, “Shine” as he is affectionately called, traded coach’s polos and khakis for leisure suits and alligator boots. And while he was definitely the epitome of style, there was plenty of substance there as well.

In his 13 years as head coach of Bethune-Cookman, Wyatt became the all-time winningest coach in school history, amassing a record of 90-54, earning wins against legendary coaches such as Joe Taylor, Bill Hayes, Oliver “Buddy” Pough, and his school’s interstate rival Florida A&M and coach William “Billy” Joe. He also captured two MEAC Titles (2002, 2003), one conference coach of the year award (1998), one Heritage Bowl appearance (1998) and two NCAA FCS Playoff appearances (2002, 2003).

He also placed several players in the NFL such as Rashean Mathis, Nick Collins, and Eric Weems. Wyatt would depart the Wildcat program in 2009 as arguably the greatest coach in school history.

11 years later, it appeared HBCU football had found a reincarnation of Wyatt when Jackson State announced it was hiring Deion Sanders as its 21st head coach of their football program. Known for his flashy style both on and off the field as a player, “Prime Time” as he was affectionately called, is widely considered the best defensive back in the history of the NFL and was enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2011.

In just one calendar year, Coach Prime guided the Tigers to their first SWAC championship since 2007, received the Eddie Robinson Award as the season’s top FCS head coach and currently has his Tigers at a perfect 5-0 and a Top 10 ranking in FCS standings. In the process, he also managed to flip the 2022 #1 high school recruit in Travis Hunter away from his alma mater Florida State to Jackson State, much to the chagrin of several college coaches across the country and watch his son, Shedeur Sanders, win the Jerry Rice Award, given to the best freshman player in FCS football.

So, in a perfect world, what would a matchup between Shine and Prime look like? Well first, aside from the game being played on the field, the pre-game press conferences would be must-see TV. I can only imagine the witty banter between the coaches prior to the game. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing either of them during a media scrum, the quotes that would have been given would have forever been etched in history. Never one to miss a marketing opportunity, Sanders would certainly have his camera crew following him around all week (courtesy of his relationship with Barstool Sports) documenting each step of preparation before the game.

Not to be outdone, Shine would have had the CatEye Network chronicling everything from his team running wind sprints on the beach before dawn to him grabbing some wings from the legendary Bethune Grill near campus (if you know you know).

On gameday, while Prime would likely opt for a JSU hoodie and sweats, you better believe, no matter the weather, Shine would come out of the tunnel donning a mink coat, accompanied by a white leisure suit with oversized gold belt buckle, or an officially licensed B-CU branded one piece jumpsuit. There’s no doubt the following Monday they both would have been featured on ESPN’s Get Up, First Take, Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption amongst other shows on competing networks.

While it is tough to predict the outcome of the game, as Jackson State boasts a potent offense vs the always formidable Wildcat defense during Wyatt’s tenure, the true winners would’ve been the fans and supporters of both schools and HBCU’s in general. The game itself would have been one of those “you had to be there” affairs, where, as the years go by, the legend of the story grows larger and larger.

While that certainly will not be the case on Saturday as current Wildcat head coach Terry Sims is the complete antithesis of Wyatt in more ways than one, sometimes it’s nice to sit back, smile and think about what could have possibly been.

After all, a guy can dream.

BCU Recap vs Miami – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

It is rare for a diehard college football fan to watch their favorite team lose by 57 points and still walk away feeling hopeful about the season. Yet here we are, feeling surprisingly optimistic after witnessing “The U” dismantle Bethune-Cookman 70-13 this past Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. Perhaps some of that optimism is aided by the fact that Bethune’s two biggest rivals, FAMU and SCSU, also took woodshed beatings this weekend. Or maybe I just added that shade about FAMU and SCSU because I was being petty and misery loves company.

Credits – State of The U

Either way, here is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly from this past weekend’s contest against “The U”!

Let’s start with the Ugly!

Money Game$. They are just an ugly but necessary reality of the college football universe. We understand why Money Game$ are scheduled. They provide an extra home game and the revenue that comes along with it for the FBS guys while the FCS guys collect a handsome paycheck and have the opportunity to showcase themselves against the big boys. Sometimes the FCS guys collect the paycheck and collect the win as was the case for BCU against FIU in 2013 and 2014. Unfortunately for our Wildcats, the only win they returned to Daytona Beach with this time around was the payday and the anecdotal projections about the remainder of the season.

The Hurricane offensive line was everything you would expect from a Mario Cristobal coached team. They were aggressive, disciplined and frankly too much to handle for the BCU front seven. Miami’s dominance at the line of scrimmage resulted in the Canes scoring touchdowns on every offensive possession save one which ended in a fumble and a second that ran out the clock to end the contest. 

The Bad

The Wildcat kickoff coverage unit has to be better. Miami’s offense started two drives in plus territory and one near midfield after Key’Shawn Smith returned three BCU kickoffs 70 yards, 42 yards and 66 yards respectively. You simply cannot put your defense in that type of predicament against good competition and expect to win. 

It was Isaiah Bolden’s 94 yard kick return touchdown to begin the second half that sealed BCU’s fate against Jackson State last year. The return team will either need to cover kicks better, kick the ball out of the endzone or kick it out of bounds. 

Speaking of special teams miscues, the Wildcats had a short field goal attempt blocked as well. The better news is we are only in week one and special teams miscues typically diminish as the season rolls along.

The Good

Bethune- Cookman’s offense left us with many reasons to be optimistic.

Jalon Jones looked good under center. Jones, a former four-star recruit and University of Florida signee, earned the starting nod at quarterback. At day’s end, Jones racked up 243 yards passing, 15 rushing yards and tossed a 34 yard TD to Que’shaun Byrd. The Virginia native looked in command of the offense and did a good job of keeping plays alive with his feet. 

BCU finished the contest with 342 yards of total offense. That’s not too bad. Perhaps more impressively, the Wildcat offense collected seven explosive plays of 20 yards or more. Marcus Riley flashed with the first big play, racking up 24 yards on a catch and run on 3rd down and 23 early in the first quarter. Riley, also a former four-star recruit, looked like he belonged on the field against the 16th ranked Hurricanes. We are hoping to see the ball in his hands more as the season progresses.

Dylaan Lee led Bethune in receiving yards and catches hauling in 5 receptions for 83 yards. Darryl Powell got his name on the stat sheet pulling in two grabs one of which was a 48 yarder from Jones.

Offensive Coordinator, Mike Canels, did a good job with the offensive scheme,and had the Cats executed better on two or three more plays, they could have put up even more points offensively.

The best news for Bethune is that there are no more FBS teams on the schedule. All of their goals are still in front of them. Former MEAC foe South Carolina State visits “Da Beach” this Saturday. The Bulldogs are the reigning Black College National Champions and are also looking to rebound after a one sided loss at the hands of a FBS opponent. UCF handed SCSU a 56-10 drubbing on Thursday night.

Please come out and support the good guys this Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00pm at Daytona Stadium.

All Hail to the 2021 All SWAC Performers

Congratulations to the four Wildcats named to the 2021 All SWAC Team. Tight End Kemari Averette, linebacker Untareo Johnson, and cornerback Omari Hill-Robinson all received first team honors while return specialist Darnell Deas received second team honors.

Alabama A&M’s Aqeel Glass was selected Offensive Player of the Year while Florida A&M’s Isaiah Land was tabbed Defensive Player of the Year. Jackson State’s James Houston was named Newcomer of the Year. Jackson State’s Shedeur Sander was selected for Freshman of the Year accolades while JSU’s Deion Sanders was tabbed Coach of the Year to round out the list of individual award winners.

2021 SWAC Football Postseason Awards

Offensive Player of the Year
Aqeel Glass- Alabama A&M

Defensive Player of the Year
Isaiah Land- Florida A&M

Newcomer of the Year
James Houston- Jackson State

Freshman of the Year
Shedeur Sanders- Jackson State

Coach of the Year
Deion Sanders- Jackson State

All-SWAC First Team Offense
Quarterback: Aqeel Glass- Alabama A&M
Running Back: Bishop Bonnett- Florida A&M
Running Back: Gary Quarles- Alabama A&M
Offensive Lineman: Keenan Forbes- Florida A&M
Offensive Lineman: Dallas Black- Southern
Offensive Lineman: Mark Evans II- Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Offensive Lineman: Johnathan Bishop- Southern
Offensive Lineman: Drake Centers- Texas Southern
Wide Receiver: Abdul-Fatai Ibrahim- Alabama A&M
Wide Receiver: Odieu Hilaire- Alabama A&M
Tight End: Kemari Averett- Bethune-Cookman

All-SWAC First Team Defense
Defensive Lineman: James Houston- Jackson State
Defensive Lineman: Jason Dumas- Prairie View A&M
Defensive Lineman: Sundiata Anderson- Grambling State
Defensive Lineman: Antwan Owens- Jackson State
Linebacker: Isaiah Land- Florida A&M
Linebacker: Untareo Johnson- Bethune-Cookman
Linebacker: Aubrey Miller- Jackson State
Defensive Back: Markquese Bell- Florida A&M
Defensive Back: Drake Cheatum- Prairie View A&M
Defensive Back: BJ Bohler- Florida A&M
Defensive Back: Omari Hill-Robinson- Bethune-Cookman

All-SWAC First Team Specialist
Place Kicker: Jose Romo-Martinez- Florida A&M
Punter: Josh Sanchez- Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Return Specialist: Isaiah Bolden- Jackson State

All-SWAC Second Team Offense
Quarterback: Shedeur Sanders- Jackson State
Running Back: Caleb Johnson- Mississippi Valley State
Running Back: Niko Duffey- Alcorn State
Offensive Lineman: Tony Gray- Jackson State
Offensive Lineman: Ja’Tyre Carter- Southern
Offensive Lineman: Danny Garza- Prairie View A&M
Offensive Lineman: Jay Jackson-Williams- Florida A&M
Offensive Lineman: Robert Alston- Alabama State
Wide Receiver: Keith Corbin- Jackson State
Wide Receiver: Dee Anderson- Alabama A&M
Tight End: Jyrin Johnson- Texas Southern

All-SWAC Second Team Defense
Defensive Lineman: Ronnie Thomas- Mississippi Valley State
Defensive Lineman: Savion Williams- Florida A&M
Defensive Lineman: Michael Badejo- Texas Southern
Defensive Lineman: Deonte Williams- Florida A&M
Linebacker: Monroe Beard III- Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Linebacker: Keonte Hampton- Jackson State
Linebacker: Tarik Cooper- Texas Southern
Defensive Back: Irshaad Davis- Alabama State
Defensive Back: Keonte’ Daniels- Mississippi Valley State
Defensive Back: Darius Campbell- Prairie View A&M
Defensive Back: Shilo Sanders- Jackson State

All-SWAC Second Team Specialist
Place Kicker: Garrett Urban- Grambling State
Punter: Garrett Urban- Grambling State
Return Specialist: Darnell Deas- Bethune-Cookman