TALLAHASSEE — Florida A&M University (FAMU) has named Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow as the school’s new athletics director, effective May 15.
“Kellen Winslow brings a track record of success, positive energy and a wealth of experience to FAMU,” said FAMU President Elmira Mangum, in making the anouncement April 9.
“We’ve had several conversations about taking our athletics program to the next level and I look forward to working closely with him to develop outstanding student athletes and a championship-caliber environment.”
Mangum has also announced the creation of the President’s Alumni Advisory Board on Athletics which will serve as a liaison between the president and the athletics director. Its job will be “to provide strategic counsel and guidance on various matters pertaining to the general function and development of all FAMU Athletic Department programs,” a FAMU statement said.
Mangum said that strengthening the athletics program is among her top prioritie. She was recently appointed the 11th president of the state-owned historically black university.
Winslow attended the University of Missouri on a football scholarship in 1975. In 1978, he was named Big Eight Player of the Year for his academic and athletic achievements and earned consensus All-American honors. He was the 13th player selected in the first round of the 1979 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers.
Winslow enjoyed a prolific nine-year career with the Chargers, earning All-Pro honors five times and setting both team and league records that still stand.
He has served as the executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, an affinity group comprised of minority members of the National Football League front office, coaching and scouting personnel. Most recently, he was director of planning and new business development at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
“This is a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to working with Dr. Mangum, university leadership and the student-athletes themselves to build upon and honor FAMU’s great tradition, both on the field and in the classroom,” Winslow said.
Winslow graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in Educational Science in counseling psychology. He returned to school after his football career and earned a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1993.
The President’s Alumni Advisory Board on Athletics will be chaired by Lt. Col. Gregory L. Clark, who also serves as the FAMU National Alumni Association’s first vice-president and is a former student athlete from the three-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champion Rattler baseball team.
The other members are:
• Albert Chester Sr., a U.S. Navy investigator who was quarterback for the FAMU football team from 1975-78, earning Most Valuable Player honors three times while accounting for more than 3,600 total yards offensively and 43 touchdowns. As a junior, he led the Rattlers to the nation’s only unbeaten record in any division in 1977, as the team finished 11-0-0. In 1978, the Rattlers won the first ever 1-AA national title with a 35-28 win over the University of Massachusetts.
• Jemal Gibson, a 1993 honors graduate from the FAMU School of Business and Industry who served as a U.S. Army infantry officer. He graduated in the top 10 percent of his Infantry Officer Basic Course and also completed the elite U.S. Army Ranger and Airborne Schools. He has spent the last 19 years in the pharmaceuticals industry with companies such as Pfizer, Parke-Davis and AstraZeneca, managing billions of dollars in sales.
• Ray Matthews Sr., a member of the Visit Tampa Bay Sports Commission which seeks to bring high-profile events to the area.The FAMU alumnus has served as a member of the FAMU Booster Club- Fang Level and as president of the West Coast Rattlers Booster Club.
• Sonia Jackson Myles, president and founder of the Sister Accord Foundation, who began a corporate career as a Ford Motor Company buyer in Dearborn, Mich. She has served as director of Global Packaging Purchases at Procter & Gamble, managing a $6 billion budget.
• Nelson E. Townsend, a retired administrator with more than 30 years of experience, who served two terms as athletics director at FAMU and also served in that capacity at Maryland Eastern Shore University and the University of Buffalo.
• Natalie White, a FAMU alumna who started on the women’s basketball team and distinguished herself for her record-breaking number of steals as a player from 1991-95. White was inducted into the MEAC Hall of Fame in 2010. The three-time All-MEAC honoree guided the Rattlerettes to two regular season conference titles and the 1995 MEAC Championship. She is currently director of Ticket Sales and Service for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.