Tallahassee.com (website for the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper) has reported the resignation of Florida A&M head football coach Alex Wood. Wood's resignation is effective today (Nov 20)
Outgoing Athletic Director Milton Overton Jr confirmed Wood's resignation. Wood's contract, a 3-year deal, ends next month.
Offensive line coach Edwin Pata will be the team's interim head coach.
"You can see it on film, Coach Wood said it perfectly, we just didn't finish," Pata said. "A lot of games we lost were in the fourth quarter when we had leads in the fourth quarter. We're right at the cusp of winning. We all know that. I think the fan base sees it."
Wood, who was hired before the 2015 season, went 8-25 in three seasons at the helm of the Rattlers. FAMU finished this season 3-8 and 2-6 in MEAC play after a 4-7 (4-4 MEAC) finish in 2016.
FAMU will start a national search to find the team's next head football coach. It'll be an early challenge for interim Athletic Director John Eason, who starts Dec. 1.The search committee will be led by Eason.
"Wood as served FAMU Athletics with honor as he worked to help rebuild the Rattler football program during the pas three seasons," Overton said. "We thank him for his dedication and service."
FAMU's players and coaches held a meeting at 7 a.m. Monday.
"It's definitely not easy," quarterback Ryan Stanley said. "Football is a game of business, so you know, when someone's contract is up, they just look at the facts and the records. Coach Wood has done some great things on and off the field."
The Rattlers on Saturday blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter against arch rival Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Wood said the game came down to an ill-advised fake punt that was stopped for a turnover on downs with the Rattlers up 24-17 in B-CU territory.
When Wood was brought on in December of 2014, the Rattlers were ineligible for postseason play due to low APR scores. Plus, the team had limited practice hours, and lost spring practice in his second season.
Academically, the team has turned things around. FAMU is no longer on NCAA probation, the team’s graduation rates are higher and Wood said the group will post a 948 single-year APR after this season.
After the Florida Classic, Wood said he “absolutely” believes FAMU's football program is in a better place than it was when he took over.
“Usually you coach through your senior class, which is four years, coach them guys because you've been trying to develop them,” Wood said after the Florida Classic.
“And if it don't work then, then I get it. And I get it today. If that's the way it goes, I get it. I mean, if that's the culture, that's great. No problem. You know, and we'll just move on and do whatever.