On Tuesday, December 23, Florida A&M University named Alex Wood as its 17th head football coach, bringing aboard a coach with more than 35 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate and professional levels.
His resume speaks of a man who is well-versed in all aspects of program management as well as coaching, having worked as a head coach, coordinator, and assistant coach, garnering an impressive array of experiences on offense and defense while ascending through the coaching ranks.
Prior to accepting the top job at FAMU, Wood served as offensive coordinator at the University of Buffalo (UB) from 2011-14.
In October 2014, he was tapped to serve as interim head coach replacing head Jeff Quinn, who was relieved of his duties, for the final four games of the season.
Wood was credited with directing a prolific offense at Buffalo, which averaged over 400 yards and 30 points per game during his four-year stint. In 2014, the team finished fourth in total offense and third in scoring offense in the Mid-American Conference, and in 2012 became the first Division I FBS program to amass over 2,000 yards rushing and passing in the same season.
He served as running back coach at University of Miami from 1989-93 helping the team to a pair of national championships, including a perfect 12-0 in 1991.
Wood served as head coach at James Madison University (JMU) from 1995-1998 and led them to an 8-4 record and the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs in 1995.
FAMU's new coach also brings professional experience, having served as an assistant coach in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Minnesota Vikings.
ALEX WOOD PERSONAL: Wood is a native of Massillon, Ohio, and was a standout football player and wrestler at Washington High School. He and his wife, Rosa, have three children--Jerrel, Alex and Natalie. His son Alex is the defensive coordinator at Wayne (NE) State College.
Donald "D.J." McCarthy, former director of player personnel and assistant to the head coach at Bethune-Cookman University, will serve as Wide Receivers Coach. McCarthy also has assistant coaching experience at LSU, UCLA, UCF, Nevada-Reno, along with an NFL stint (Oakland Raiders), as well as high school and junior college experience.
More info coming soon!
Edwin Pata returns to the Rattler coachin staff after leaving to coach at FIU. His rebuilding of the offensive line could be key in the success of the Rattlers.
Steven Jerry returns to FAMU where he served as the quarterbacks and receivers coach (2008-13). Jerry will work as Running Backs Coach during this stint with head coach Alex Wood. Jerry was running backs coach at William and Mary, and was an offensive assistant at Virginia State, East Tennessee State and UCF, where he also worked as an assistant track coach.
Michael L. Vite, former defensive coordinator at Texas Southern (2013), will serve as Linebackers Coach at FAMU. Vitewas head coach with The Apprentic School (2008-2012) in Newport News, Va., and has extensive experience as a collegiate defensive coordinator at Southern Illinois, Southern (Baton Rouge), Murray State (Ky.), Morgan State, Guiford (N.C.) College, where he was assistant head coach, and Bacone (Okla.) College, where he was associate head coach.
Theo Lemon, former head coach at Savannah State, Central (Ohio) State and College of Depage (Ill.), will serve Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach. His extensive experience also includes staff appointments at Wake Forest, Rutgers, East Carolina, Northeastern, Central State, Kentucky State and Ohio University.
Richard Solomon, former assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, will serve as Defensive Backs Coach. Solomon has a lengthy resume which includes professional (Arizona, Minnesota), New York Giants) and collegiate (Western Illinois, Illinois, Syracuse, Iowa, Southern Illinois and the University of Dubuque).
Martin Spieler, former wide receivers, tight ends and special teams coach at the University of Buffalo, who will serve as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach. Spieler has served as assistant coach at Cincinnati, Allegheny College and Georgia Southern.
Todd Middleton, former defensive line coach at Hutshinson Community College, will serve as Defensive Line Coach at FAMU. A West Palm Beach, Florida, native, Hutchinson is FAMU's 16th coaching stop in a career that began in 1991 at the junior college level.