NCCU to discuss football coaching candidate

Dec. 11, 2013 @ 04:10 PM

N.C. Central officials in charge of finding the school’s next football coach appear to be closing in on a decision.

Members of NCCU’s Board of Trustees are expected to convene a special meeting on Dec. 19 by way of a 4 p.m. conference call and time has been allotted during a closed session for Chancellor Debra Saunders-White to engage in a discussion about a candidate who is being considered to lead the football program.

Kyle Serba, NCCU’s associate athletics director for media relations, has said that an announcement about the school’s next football coach is expected by the end of the year.

Dwayne Foster was on the sideline this past season as NCCU’s interim head coach. The Eagles finished with a 5-7 record, including losing 28-0 to archival N.C. A&T in the season finale.

Henry Frazier III had been the Eagles’ head coach until NCCU athletics director Ingrid Wicker-McCree fired him in August after a second public flare-up regarding his ex-wife, Lanier Turner-Frazier. Wicker-McCree said Frazier’s personal life had become too much of a distraction.

In the summer of 2012, Frazier was arrested for assaulting Turner-Frazier and suspended from his coaching duties. He later pleaded guilty and was reinstated.

This past summer, Frazier was arrested for allegedly violating a domestic violence protective order that put parameters on his relationship with Turner-Frazier. Wake County judge Jennifer Knox eventually declared Frazier not guilty, but that was on September 30 and the Eagles were well into their football season without him by then.

Winston-Salem State University coach Connell Maynor is one of the bigger names in black-college football right now, and a Herald-Sun source with an inside track on NCCU athletics said that Maynor interviewed for the NCCU job last week.

Attempts to reach WSSU director of media relations and communications Kevin Manns for comment were unsuccessful.

WSSU is a Division II school that for years has ruled on the football fields of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. In 2012, WSSU played for the D-II national championship, losing to Valdosta State.

Shaw University coach Robert Massey, who played for NCCU before moving on to a career in the National Football League, led the Bears to a 6-4 season and seemingly would have some appeal to NCCU’s fan base.

Attempts to reach Shaw sports information director Sherri Fillingham for comment were unsuccessful.

Serba said NCCU would not disclose the names of the finalists in order to keep them out of awkward positions with their current schools.

Some of NCCU’s football players have provided input on whom the next football coach should be, Serba said.

Before the season ended, NCCU senior linebacker Tazmon Foster said Foster and his staff deserved another year with the Eagles.

Foster was the top tackler in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He’d been a Division III player at N.C. Wesleyan, in Rocky Mount, before dazzling Frazier and earning a scholarship.

In 2012, Frazier delivered NCCU’s first winning season since 2007. Wicker-McCree hired him in 2010. He came to NCCU with a reputation for resuscitating wheezing football programs.

Frazier signed a five-year contract worth $225,000 annually. Wicker-McCree fired him without severance pay and he is pursuing the rest of the money called for in his contract.

Foster got an $82,000 raise when Wicker-McCree elevated him from his role as the Eagles’ top assistant to interim head coach.