Simmons, basketball coaches get contract extensions

Head football coach Willie Simmons was given a contract extension through the next three seasons.
Photo by St. Clair Murraine

FAMU sports information

Athletics Director Kortne Gosha recently announced that FAMU has given extensions to three coaches.

Head football coach Willie Simmons, head men’s basketball coach Robert McCullum and head women’s basketball coach Shalon Pillow each has an extended contract that was approved last Wednesday by the Board of Trustees.

 “The past year has been filled with uncertainly and our coaches have demonstrated the highest levels of leadership and stability as we lead our programs into the Southwestern Athletic Conference,” said Gosha. “We are excited about trajectory of our programs and it was important that we maintained elite coaches to ensure that continuity. I am grateful to President (Larry) Robinson, Board of Trustees, and Foundation Board for their unwavering support.”

FAMU will officially leave the MEAC next month to join the SWAC.

 Simmons, who took over the FAMU football program in 2018, led the Rattlers to a 9-2 record and an HBCU National Championship in 2019. Prior to his arrival, FAMU hadn’t had a winning season since 2011. The Rattlers finished the 2019 season ranked No. 24 in the STATS FCS Poll and No. 25 in the FCS Coaches Poll.

 Simmons was also the 2019 Tallahassee man of the Year for his community advocacy and recently named as a rising star on the National Coalition of Minority Coaches initiative. FAMU has extended Simmons by three years, which keeps him in Tallahassee through 2025.

 McCullum has ushered in a new era of success for FAMU men’s basketball since joining the program in 2017. He led the Rattlers to the MEAC Tournament during the 2020-21 season and was named the MEAC’s Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, the first time a coach from FAMU earned the honor in the 50-year history of the conference. 

 McCullum earned a three-year extension, which runs through 2024.

 Pillow, who also signed a three-year extension through 2024, took control of the FAMU women’s basketball program during the summer of 2020. She previously coached at Middle Tennessee State, Kentucky, South Florida and Hofstra. 

Pillow also played basketball under legendary Tennessee head coach, Pat Summitt and has already demonstrated a wealth of experience in her national recruiting.