The Coaching Wire: Monday, March 11, 2013

The Coaching Wire: Monday, March 11, 2013

Former Florida Gator running back and defensive back Elijah Williams will be running backs coach at Florida A&M. (Orlando Sentinel)

Elijah Williams will be running backs coach at Florida A&M. (Orlando Sentinel)

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ormer Florida Gator and Atlanta Falcon Elijah Williams will be running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida A&M.

Williams spent the past four seasons as head coach at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando, Fla.

After a four-year career with the Falcons, Williams transitioned into coaching. He spent three years as assistant coach at Titusville Astronaut, followed by one season as an assistant at Oak Ridge before taking over as head coach. He went 30-14 and became the winningest coach in the Pioneers program’s history.

“It’s something I never sought out,” Williams, told the Orlando Sentinel about a college position. “I have turned down lots of opportunities, including jobs at South Carolina and Oklahoma.

“But if you keep saying no, they’ll stop asking.”

Two Georgia Tech assistants among the finalists at Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State has interviewed at least three candidates for its head coach position.

Two of those candidates are Georgia Tech assistants Brian Bohannon and Andy McCollum, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There may be as many as six finalists.

Bohannon is Tech’s quarterbacks and B-backs coach, and McCollum is defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.

KSU athletic director Vaughn Williams plans to make the hire by the end of March.

Kennesaw State announced at a February press conference that it would start a football program to play the 2015 seasons.

McCollum was recently mentioned as a candidate for the head coach job at Austin Peay, his alma mater. On Friday, he announced that he was not interested in the position and would not interview.

A Marrietta, Ga. native, McCollum has more than 30 years of experience, including as head coach at Middle Tennessee State from 1999-2005. He came to Georgia Tech in 2010 after three years at N.C. State.

Bohannon, who played at Georgia, has coached since 1996, working at Georgia Southern (1997-2001), Navy (2002-07) and Georgia Tech (2008-present).

Syracuse announces Fred Reed as defensive backs coach

Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer officially announced the hiring of defensive backs coach Fred Reed, completing the Orange’s 2013 staff.

A 17-year coaching veteran, Reed spent the past three seasons as cornerbacks and punt return coach at Ohio. It was Reed’s second stint at Ohio. He was also cornerbacks and punt return coach for the Bobcats in 2005.

Reed spent two seasons Buffalo, beginning as secondary coach in 2008 and added the defensive coordinator title in 2009.

In 2006 and 2007, Reed was a defensive assistant for the Detroit Lions working with the safeties.

Howard’s Gary Harreel to take personal leave for 2013 season

Howard head coach Gary Harrell will take a personal leave of absence for the 2013 season. Associate head coach and defensive coordinator Rayford Petty has been named interim head coach for the upcoming season.

In his second year, Harrell led the Bison to a 7-4 record and 6-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. It was the most wins by a Howard team in a decade.

“Coach Harrell has led two turnaround seasons dubbed, ‘The Road to Redemption.’ We look forward to his return in 2014,” said University Spokesperson Kerry-Ann Hamilton. “We expect a strong 2013 season. Coach Petty is no stranger to Bison Football and has been instrumental to the turnaround in the program over the last two years.”

Harrell released a statement today announcing the leave:

“After much consideration and discussion with my family, advisors and several people at Howard University, it is with much sadness that I announce today that I will be taking a leave of absence for the 2013 season. In making this decision, I thought deeply about my extended family, my players and coaches. At this time, my personal and family issues make it impossible for me to give them 100% and anything less than that is unacceptable to me. However, as a man of deep faith in God, my family must take priority at this time. I want to stress that this is only a temporary leave of absence, and I look forward to returning to the sidelines in 2014 as the Bison continue to build a championship team. I want to thank Howard University for their understanding and compassion during this difficult time. Without their support it would not be possible for me to work these issues out so I may return to the University I love so much. I am proud to be an alumnus of Howard University and am excited about my future there.”

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