You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

FAMU athletics narrows search, cites 'very close' to announcing women's basketball coach

Tallahassee Democrat logoTallahassee Democrat 5/13/2020 Rory Sharrock, Tallahassee Democrat

The nationwide search for the next women's basketball coach at Florida A&M is drawing to a close.

FAMU Vice President/Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha has confirmed he expects to announce his hire no later than early next week.

The vacancy at FAMU became available when Gosha decided not to renew the expired contract of former head coach Kevin Lynum on April 22.

Since the announcement, he has reviewed 80 résumé submissions. This list includes head coaches and assistants from Division I, II, junior college and high school programs.

a group of football players posing for a photo: FAMU women's basketball players Alaina Rice (left) Corey Staples and Mikyah Mack stand side-by-side during pregame at the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center. © Rory Sharrock/Tallahassee Democrat FAMU women's basketball players Alaina Rice (left) Corey Staples and Mikyah Mack stand side-by-side during pregame at the Al Lawson Multipurpose Center.

It's an even mixture of men and women who've applied for the job. The Division I candidates range from Power 5 conferences to mid-majors.

There have also been assistants from the WNBA who've expressed interest in leading the team.

a group of men playing a game of football: FAMU guard/forward Jasmine Ballew drives to the hoop versus North Carolina A&T on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. © Maya Dubois FAMU guard/forward Jasmine Ballew drives to the hoop versus North Carolina A&T on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020.

Gosha has conducted all interviews via Zoom. This method of technology has been the go-to source of video communication in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although Zoom has its benefits, Gosha expressed concern in using the platform. He cites challenges in "getting the pulse of a person" through a computer screen as opposed to a face-to-face meeting.

During his interviews, he's explained in detail the requirements and framework of the position. This covers budget limitations and fundraising to coaching philosophy and in-game strategies.

"It's not a perfect situation. This is something where you'll have to roll your sleeves up and get after it," Gosha said.

"This job requires fundamental principles of building a culture and winning program. We want to be diligent. There's a lot of qualified candidates. We have a lot of fundamental things that need to be cured beyond wins and losses. We've involved some alumni on the search committee so that we're not in a vacuum."

More FAMU Athletics: Student-athletes enrolled in health care classes discuss coronavirus, businesses reopening

More FAMU Athletics: The art of football: Former Godby, FAMU player Marquan Cromartie captures sketches the game

More FAMU Athletics: FAMU hosts live virtual graduation tribute for student-athletes

More FAMU Athletics: FAMU officials strategize contingency plans for athletics to address coronavirus pandemic

In terms of money matters, FAMU's salary range is in the bottom tier of teams in the MEAC. As a result, this could mean a pay cut for a coach. The low pay grade is a byproduct of limited donations to the program.

Gosha also wants to create space for a coaching staff that mirrors the men's program. Currently, there are three assistants under head coach Robert McCullum. Last season, the lone assistant with Lynum was Angelica Bermudez.

a couple of people that are talking to each other: Former FAMU women's basketball head coach Kevin Lynum draws up a play during a timeout. © Submitted photo Former FAMU women's basketball head coach Kevin Lynum draws up a play during a timeout.

The next head coach will be the third person filling this role in three years.

Lynum served one season in this position. He was first hired as an assistant coach under LeDawn Gibson in the summer of 2018. His title was elevated to interim head coach in February 2019 after Gibson was fired. Former FAMU AD John Eason removed the interim tag from him last August.

During his time on the bench, Lynum's players enjoyed academic success. The team posted a 3.2 GPA with a 100% graduation rate. However, these winning ways didn't translate to the court. 

His overall record stands at 7-26. The Rattlers finished the 2019-20 season going 6-21 and 4-12 in the MEAC.

a group of men playing a game of football: FAMU guard Morgan Mitchell looks to score over Howard players Sarah Edmond (5) and Star Fitzgerald-Greer (21) in the first round of the MEAC tournament on Monday, March 11, 2019. © Rattler Productions FAMU guard Morgan Mitchell looks to score over Howard players Sarah Edmond (5) and Star Fitzgerald-Greer (21) in the first round of the MEAC tournament on Monday, March 11, 2019.

FAMU's present-day roster features a young crop of players. Morgan Mitchell and Kailya Jackson are the only rising seniors.

Mitchell is the most experienced player with her time at FAMU dating back to 2018-19. She hopes the next head coach provides stability for the short-term and future of the program. 

"I just hope whoever they bring in will help this team and the ones moving forward," Mitchell said.

"Seeing coach Lynum gone hurts, but I have to be on board with the direction of my AD. I trust the staff will make the right decision. Hopefully, we'll find a solid coach and give him a solid home."

Follow FAMU beat writer Rory Sharrock on Twitter @rattlernews and @married2game1.

Never miss a story: Subscribe to the Tallahassee Democrat.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: FAMU athletics narrows search, cites 'very close' to announcing women's basketball coach

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Tallahassee Democrat

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon