Bethune-Cookman introduces head football coach after tumultuous search

Appointment comes after protests about the state of BCU’s campus

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman University officially introduced its new head football coach on Wednesday.

Raymond Woodie, Jr., a BCU graduate and most recently a coach at Florida Atlantic University, will be the university’s 16th coach. It comes after a tumultuous search for a coach that recently led to protest from students about the state of the campus.

“I was amazed at what I’d seen and gathered,” said Woodie.

Woodie is a 1996 graduate of BCU, where he was a four-year letter-winner as a linebacker.

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“We just showed up and went to work. We didn’t care about facilities or all of this extra stuff that people visualize that our program needs. Obviously, things need to progress in order to be upper epsilon,” he said.

Players who were included in the search were also relieved it was over and happy with the choice.

“With the amount of drama that was going around, including the players I feel has allowed us to buy into Coach Woodie,” said linebacker Conroy Cunningham.

Woodie’s hiring comes after the university’s hectic contract negotiations — and ultimately fall out — with NFL Hall of Famer Ed Reed.

Reed took to social media in the middle of negotiations with a tirade about seeing trash all over campus, saying the facilities were falling apart and that his office wasn’t clean.

When the university pulled the contract, it sparked a protest from students, claiming the university’s dorms were filled with mold and buildings were falling apart.

“We just reviewed our capital budget just last night with the board. They were very receptive, and we are up and running,” said interim president Lawrence Drake.

Drake said university leaders just spent seven months analyzing over 100 facilities on campus and now agree that about 60 of them need work.

It’s estimated to cost a little more than $10 million and will include big upgrades to the athletic facilities.

“Looking at how to transform the campus on some sort of consistent basis, on the one end, it’s about repair, but frankly, the other side of this is about transformation,” he said.

As for Woodie’s arrival on campus, he said he’s ready to show his players what’s most important, put their academics first, and of course win games.

“All these guys want to go to the NFL. The NFL stands for ‘Not For Long,’ but we’re going to make sure we get that meaningful degree,” he said.

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Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.