Florida A&M holds recognition event for HBCU National Championship football team
While Florida A&M prepares to take part in a joint celebration with its neighboring school Florida State University, President Larry Robinson said Friday’s recognition event was something to show his appreciation for FAMU players and coaches for their success in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
“Winning the SWAC east division, the SWAC championship, the Celebration Bowl, and now being proclaimed the HBCU National Champions…it does indeed as Coach Simmons started the year, prove that it is our time,” said Robinson.
The FAMU football team, led by former head coach Willie Simmons, ended the 2023 season 12-1 and with the HBCU national trophy in hand after defeating Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the country.
The team bested Howard University at the Celebration Bowl in December in front of 40,000 spectators. The 2023 club broke many records, both in-school and at the national level, including the longest home game win streak in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) at 20 games.
“It’s great that we can celebrate now that we’ve gotten to this point," FAMU Alum and longtime athletics supporter Terry Youngblood said. "I was here for FAMU’s lows, many years of lows, and I’ve come to this stadium to support. Now that we’re here, we want to celebrate this for ourselves not someone else.”
During Friday’s event Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey signed a proclamation recognizing the team. The Ratters closed out the event with performances from the university’s Marching 100 band and the school’s cheer squad.
Before leaving, President Robinson vowed to fans and alumni that he would do everything in his power to see that the university continues to support players both on and off the field. He also wished the team’s former head coach much success as he embarks on his new role as an assistant coach at Duke University.
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