Alvin Wyatt takes over as interim head football coach of 0-7 Edward Waters

alvin%20wyattEdward Waters football coach Brad Bernard was abruptly fired on Tuesday and  replaced on an interim basis by veteran college coach and former boss Alvin  Wyatt, who had been the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.

EWC is 0-7 following a 49-9 loss to Webber on Oct. 12. The Tigers were off  last week and have four games remaining on the schedule, three of them on the  road. EWC plays at Newport News (Va.) Apprentice School on Saturday.

Bernard, a Parker graduate who also coached at Sandalwood, Mandarin and  Raines following his college playing career at Georgia Southern, was the  offensive coordinator at Bethune-Cookman under Wyatt for 11 years. EWC had .500  records in each of Bernard’s two seasons, going 6-6 in 2011 and 5-5 in 2012.

The Tigers’ 2011 season was their first .500 record since 2004. Bernard’s  total record as the Tigers’ coach is 11-18.

“We believed it was time for a change … we didn’t see the improvement as we  expected,” said Edward Waters athletic director Johnny Rembert. “This makes a  statement that we are serious about our program. We don’t want to be a  doormat.”

Rembert said Bernard’s dismissal was mostly about the Tigers’ performance on  the field and praised Bernard for his work of the last three years.

“He had the best interests of the players at heart, I do believe that,”  Rembert said. “There was a difference in philosophy.”

Wyatt, who was brought to Edward Waters in 2012 by Bernard, is the all-time  leader in coaching victories at Bethune-Cookman with a 90-54 record from  1997-2009. A Jacksonville native like Bernard, Wyatt, 65, led his alma mater to  their first two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoff berths in 2002  and 2003, and their first MEAC titles in the same years.

Edward Waters coordinator of public relations Dee Registre said Wyatt was  unavailable for comment. Bernard did not return a phone message and an e-mailed  request for comment.


Alvin “Shine” Wyatt awarded $771,000, lose age discrimination suit

alvin%20wyattOn Wednesday afternoon, Seventh Judicial Circuit Judge Terence Perkins ordered that Bethune-Cookman pay former head coach Alvin “Shine” Wyatt nearly $771,000 in restitution stemming from a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the university in 2010.

Wyatt flamboyantly patrolled the sidelines of Municipal Stadium as Bethune-Cookman’s “head ball coach” from 1997-2009.  Wyatt accumulated a 90-54 record during his 13 year tenure and surpassed the legendary Rudolph “Bunky” Matthews as BCU’s all-time winningest coach.

Wyatt’s teams finished at 5-6 in three of his final four seasons and suffered drubbings (58-35 in 2008 and 42-6 in 2009) at the hands of in-state rival Florida A&M in his final two seasons at the helm.  He was unceremoniously fired by then BCU President Trudie Kibbe Reed at the conclusion of the 2009 season.

The now 65 year old coach sued the university in 2010 claiming breach of contract.  He stated in his suit that he was “wrongfully terminated without cause and without written notice as required in his contract”.  Wyatt also cited age discrimination as motive for his firing and sought $1.2 million in damages.

Judge Terence Perkins ruled that the university had in fact breached Wyatt’s contract and awarded him $771,000 in restitution.  The payment represents four years of salary, other guaranteed income, and retirement match contributions Wyatt’s existing contract would have paid him had he not been wrongfully terminated.

Judge Perkins ruled against Wyatt in his age discrimination claim against the university stating that no evidence of age discrimination was provided.

Wyatt graduated from Bethune-Cookman in 1970 and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders later that same year.  He spent five years in the NFL and World Football League before joining the BCU coaching staff as a defensive backs coach in 1975.  For 31 of the next 34 years, Wyatt held various positions on the BCU football staff including defensive backs coach, linebackers coach, defensive coordinator, assistant head coach, and head coach.

In 1998, Wyatt led BCU to its first winning season since 1985.  He guided the Wildcats to their first ever playoff appearance in 2002 and returned to the NCAA playoffs for a second time a year later.

Wyatt coached a bevy of players who went on to play in the professional ranks among whom include NFL pro-bowlers Nick Collins (Green Bay), Rashean Mathis (Jacksonville), and Eric Weems (Atlanta).  Other professional players coached by Wyatt include Steve Baggs, Damion Cook, Allen Suber, Anthony Bass and others.