On Tuesday it was announced that the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats have made a splash hire in hopes of reviving their dormant and struggling football program.
Ed Reed Hired At Bethune-Cookman
That hire is none other than Baltimore Ravens legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed. Arguably the greatest safety to ever play in the NFL, Reed’s hire comes at a time when the Wildcats program could really use a jolt and some uplifting.
After winning six MEAC championships since 2000, their move to the SWAC in 2021 hasn’t been pretty thus far, going 4-18 in two seasons.
Reed will have his work cut out for him, but hopefully he can help that. Reed is currently a member of the Miami Hurricanes coaching staff under head coach Mario Cristobal and athletics director Dan Radakovich.
The aforementioned Radakovich congratulated Reed in a statement upon his hiring.
“We are excited to hear that Ed has been named the head football coach at Bethune-Cookman. Ed is one of the best to ever wear a Miami Hurricanes uniform and he has served as a great mentor to our student-athletes the past three years. He will do a tremendous job leading the Wildcats program and the entire Miami program wishes him all the best.”
Reed is the latest in an HBCU football trend, where NFL legends are taking over HBCU football programs.
Bethune-Cookman University is hiring Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed as their New Head Football Coach
📷33rd Team pic.twitter.com/CZ6ArREZPp
— HBCU Premier Sports (@HBCUSports1) December 27, 2022
Reed Joins Deion Sanders And Eddie George In Taking The HBCU Leap:
In becoming the 16th head football coach in Bethune-Cookman history, Reed joins other NFL legends in the same capacity.
Deion Sanders arrived at Jackson State in 2020 and proceeded to win back-to-back SWAC championships while boasting a 27-6 record. He helped raise visibility, exposure and revenue through sponsorships during his three years, before leaving to become the Colorado head coach earlier this month.
Then there’s Eddie George, who’s been holding things down at Tennessee State since the 2021 season.
Making Reed the third really big NFL name to give the HBCU football world a try.
In a 2021 interview with Baltimore Beatdown, the Pro Football Hall of Famer made it very clear that he wanted to be a head coach or coordinator because he wanted his voice to be heard. He felt position coaches are often overlooked when voicing their opinion. Reed’s interview came after a brief stint with the Buffalo Bills.
“I’ve talked to Coach Harbaugh briefly at times, about things. I’m not a position coach, man. I can coach position, but no. It’s not a position I want because, for one, I’m working with guys that are probably younger than me. They haven’t played the game and just won’t even hear my voice if I’m a position coach. My voice won’t even be heard. So that’s why I tweeted about being a defensive coordinator or head coach. I know what I’m capable of, I know what I aspire for. You gotta know your worth. Like I said, I’ve been in the league around a lot of coaches and looking at some of these coaches get jobs who I’ve worked with. I mean, did you see the interview from the head coach in Philly? You know what I mean?”
Reed was speaking on the lack of African-American representation at the head coach, and coordinator level of football. And for him, seeing how it works firsthand being a longtime NFL player and assistant in Buffalo, he wanted more, and now he has it in a place where he’s needed.
Reed: 2019 HOF Inductee To HBCU Head Coach
Reed is 44, and has been fully entrenched in how the college game operates from a coaching standpoint the past few seasons. Now the NFL legend will try to put his spin on a dormant program located in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Being a Louisiana native who played his college football at Miami, and having coached there prior to Bethune-Cookman, he should have a real feel for how recruiting goes in the talent-rich Sunshine State. It’ll be Reed’s job to land as much of that homegrown talent as possible. Sort of like he did in snatching 64 career interceptions, returning seven for touchdowns, including an NFL-record 108-yarder.
Ed’s gonna get it done, as he’s always done.
Daytona Beach, “Mr. Two Tickets to Paradise” is coming.