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Inside Hotlanta and the SIAC

Hal LamarBy Hal Lamar
Photos b
y Patsy Collier-Lamar

ATLANTA-Officialdom at Clark Atlanta University have opened up another can of head football coach with the appointment of former Tusculum College of Greeneville, Tennessee’s Kevin Weston. The announcement came amid ruffles and flourishes January 15 at the campus’ Cornelius Henderson Student Center.

“We are thrilled to have secured a rising star like Kevin Weston from a diverse national pool of very talented applicants,” said CAU Athletics Director Tamica Jones. Later she told INSIDE that the effort to replace the deposed coach Daryll McNeil was nothing short of gargantuan.” We received over 100 resumes for the job,  We  narrowed that list down to eight and then invited the top three candidates to campus for interviews.” She also said more money will be added to the athletic budget for assistant coaches and for recruiting purposes.

Weston, a native of Queens, New York came south to play at Tusculum and remained there for eight years as an assistant coach, moving up the ladder to assistant head coach and also became the team’s defensive coordinator. He told the assembled press on the 15th that one of his focuses will be on acquiring more local talent.CAU Football Press ConfL-R: CAU President Carlton Brown, Weston
and Jones

“ There’s a phrase I’ve been using and that is recruiting is the pipeline to having a successful program. Well, we are going to start out recruiting this Atlanta area, all 150 miles of it. We‘re gonna put the Atlanta back in Clark Atlanta, I can promise you that.”

As evidence of his commitment, a quick check of Tusculum’s 2012 roster finds 33 of their players with metro Atlanta or Georgia roots. According to Jones, one of Weston’s key roles and, apparently, one of his strengths is recruiting, especially in Atlanta and Georgia.

Quietly, many hard-core supporters of CAU sports who follow the team locally and on the road are hoping Weston can also post larger numbers in the win column. CAU has had only two winning seasons since 1991. The last two seasons, the team posted only 4 wins in 20. While producing some 20 academic scholars who achieved grade point averages of 3.0 or better (four of whom posted 4.0 gpas), the team seemed to lack the intensity and the drive to win ballgames or wrap up victories.

“We’re gonna start off day to day working on little things and I believe the little things can become big things,” said Weston.  "We’ll start out every day making sure we’re living our lives the right way from the classroom to the dorm room and that will reflect what are doing on the practice field.”

NEW FAMU HEAD COACH WAS 100 % WRONG GAITHER WINNER: Earl Holmes, recently named the new head football coach at his alma mater, Florida A&M University, was the winner of the prestigious Jake Gaither award bestowed by the 100% Wrong Club back in 1995. I met the brother that year and found him to be quiet, mannerable and very easy to talk to. Neither he nor I thought then that he would take the circuit through pro football, return back to FAMU as an assistant under Joe Taylor and end up running the whole dang shooting match. Congrats Brother Holmes!

Speaking of the 100%  Wrongers, people are starting to ask about the 88 year old organization. Last year, the lack of sponsorship support forced them to cancel their annual all sports jamboree and I can only surmise that it’s the same way this year as well….

XTRA POINTS: Maybe my 63 year old ears are playing tricks on me but I thought I heard announcer Joe Buck mention during the broadcast of the San Francisco –Green Bay NFL Playoff game that Morehouse graduate and current NFL referee Jerome Boger would be officiating the Super Bowl. It intrigued me so much that I contacted the NFL. A  spokesperson e-mailed me to say officials for the big contest won’t be made until the week of the game itself…

CAU may have a draft pick come the spring in the person of defensive lineman Vauchard Goodridge. The 6-2, 260 pound senior from St Petersburg, Florida turned more than a few heads this past grid season and wound up the SIAC’s co-defensive player of the year,  He was also named all-conference first team.

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