Former Hampton coach Taylor looking to return FAMU to glory days

Updated: December 31, 2007, 5:51 PM ET
Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Longtime Hampton coach Joe Taylor became the new head coach at Florida A&M on Monday and vowed to return the one-time powerhouse among historically black colleges to its former glory.

The 57-year-old Taylor replaces Rubin Carter, who was fired Nov. 20 after a 3-8 season. He will sign a 5-year deal for $225,000 a year, university officials said.

One of the most successful coaches in the NCAA's Football Championship Subdivision, Taylor has had only two losing seasons in 25 years. At Hampton he is the career victories leader with a 136-49-1 record in 16 seasons. His career record is 197-78-4, including stints at Howard University and Virginia Union.

Taylor's Hampton teams won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference -- in which Florida A&M also plays -- five times.

Taylor called Florida A&M "one of the most storied programs ever," and said he was looking forward to trying to return it to the glory days when coach Jake Gaither led the Rattlers and there was a mystique to the program.

"That spirit can still be here," Taylor said. FAMU has "been sleeping for a little while, but we're back."

Taylor will be coaching in difficult circumstances with FAMU's accreditation under review and its third president in less than four years.

Carter had been coach at Florida A&M since July 2005, and was never able to right the program amid a school-wide funding crisis and an NCAA investigation into rules violations throughout the athletics program. Carter's coaching staff was also fired with him.

Hampton has named Jerry Holmes to replace Taylor as head coach.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press