Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Ed Reed will not be the next coach at Bethune Cookman after he said the school would not ratify the contract he agreed to in late December.
reed declared through his foundation Saturday that Bethune Cookman — a historically black university in Daytona Beach, Fla. — “would not in principle make good on the agreement we had that had the necessary provisions and resources to support student athletes.” Reid later explained the decision to teammates, following a tearful, 15-minute goodbye in which he said the decision was not his.
Saturday’s move comes five days after Reid posted an impassioned video on social media in which she criticized Bethune Cookman’s executives for having a dirty compound before her arrival and failing to clean her office . He apologized for his “lack of professionalism” the next day and again on Saturday.
“I’m a good man, not perfect,” he said. “We all make mistakes, and I apologized for mine.”
Reed, an All-America safety at the University of Miami who went on to a Hall of Fame career with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, was hired on December 27 by Bethune Cookman athletics director Reggie Thews, a former NBA player. He was to replace Terry Sims, who was fired after going 38–39 in seven seasons.
The 44-year-old Reed was the latest in a series of “celebrity coaches” hired by HBCU programs despite having little on-field college coaching experience, a trend started after Deion Sanders’ runaway success at Jackson State. Sanders went 27–6 with a pair of conference championships in three seasons with the Tigers, and was hired as head coach at Colorado in December.
Two other well-known people hired by HBCUs have had less success. Former Heisman Trophy-winning Eddie George is 9-13 in two years at Tennessee State, while Hue Jackson — who coached in college in the 1990s but spent two decades in the NFL — is 3-8 in his first season at Grambling. State in 2022.