Rod Broadway enters his sixth season as the head football coach at North Carolina A&T. Broadway has spread success to various collegiate programs over the past 13 years as a head coach. He has five conference championships spread out over three different schools and conferences. He has won a Black College National Championship at each head coaching stop which includes N.C. Central, Grambling State and North Carolina A&T State University. He won his latest Black College National Championship and conference title after the Aggies completed the 2015 season 10-2 overall, 7-1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and won the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. Also during the 2015 season, he became the 26th active FCS coach to record 100 wins after a 27-3 win over Norfolk State on Oct. 10 gave him his 100th career win.
The Aggies football program has made tremendous strides under Broadway’s stewardship. A year before Broadway’s arrival, the Aggies were 1-10. In his first season, they improved four games to 5-6. The next two seasons the Aggies put together consecutive 7-4 seasons. In his fourth season, the Aggies went 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the MEAC to capture a share of the MEAC title, the Aggies first title in 11 years. He is 38-19 (.667) over his first five years as the Aggies head man. This season he led the Aggies to back-to-back MEAC championships for the first time since the 1991 and ‘92 seasons.
The four straight winning seasons are the programs first since posting winning seasons from 1998-01. The Aggies had 11 players earn all-conference honors in 2014, the most in school history. Of those 11 players, seven earned first-team honors. Broadway also saw seven of his players earn some type of All-American honor, which included center Ronald Canty earning Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association All-American recognition.
One of his prized recruits Tarik Cohen became a national figure and social media sensation during the 2015 offseason when he was showcased online catching a football, sometimes two, while coming out of a backflip. Cohen was also made an appearance on ESPN SportsCenter doing a backflip while catching a football. On the field, Cohen has been named the MEAC’s rookie of the year and its co-offensive player of the year, making him the second Aggie under Broadway to earn the honor. Cohen has led the MEAC in rushing three straight seasons, and he is already the school’s all-time leading rusher.
The Aggies were even able to get off to a 3-0 start in 2013, including an upset win over three-time FCS national champion Appalachian State in Boone, N.C. It was the first time the Mountaineers had lost to an in-state opponent at home since 1984. The Aggies also finished the season with the No. 1 rush defense in the nation and No. 4 overall defense in the country.
Broadway has turned the Aggies into a winner despite numerous obstacles he inherited when he arrived on campus in February of 2011. Broadway took over a program mired in NCAA sanctions stemming from a low graduation rate. As a result, Broadway has taken on the task of building a winner despite having reduced practice hours, fewer scholarships and little to no spring practice. Instead of making excuses, Broadway changed the football culture at A&T. He revitalized A&T’s program with a stingy defense and a stringent focus on accountability on the football field and in the classroom.
One of his first initiatives was to make his players proud of the A&T legacy. Before each home game, they visit the statue (on campus) of four men and former A&T students (David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Joseph A. McNeil and Jibreel Khazan formerly known as Ezell Blair, Jr.) largely credited with ushering in the modern day civil rights movement with their famous Feb. 1, 1960 sit-in at a Greensboro F.W. Woolworth’s lunch counter.
His focus on academic excellence resulted in 34 football players earning a 3.0 grade point average or better during the 2012 fall semester. Twenty-one players were named A&T scholar athletes in 2013 and 23 earned the honor in 2014.
In addition, A&T’s annual academic progress rate score, the score that measures progress toward degree, improved to 944 in single year 2011-12, releasing the Aggies from NCAA sanctions. The single-year score improved to 948 the following year and increased to 958 in 2013-14.
The foundation for the Aggies’ resurgence on the field has been defense. In three years, the Aggies overall defense has ranked no lower than 24th nationally. A&T’s run defense has never finished lower than 16th. The Aggies held six different opponents to under 100 yards rushing in 2013. Overall, nine players earned either first, second or third-team All-MEAC honors and Cohen was a Jerry Rice finalist for best FCS freshman in the nation.
The prior year opponents went an amazing 17 straight quarters without scoring an offensive touchdown against the Aggies defense. The Aggies were also No. 1 nationally in pass defense efficiency in 2012. The second year under Broadway also produced two first-team All-MEAC performers in cornerback D’Vonte Graham and left tackle William Ray Robinson III. Three more defensive players earned second-team honors in defensive tackle Chris Neal, linebacker D’Vonte Grant and safety Travis Crosby.
In his first year, Broadway became the first Aggie head coach in school history to produce a 2,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver.
Mike Mayhew, the Aggies 1,000-yard back in 2011, was named MEAC Co-Offensive Player of the Year. Wallace Miles, the 1,000-yard receiver, signed an NFL free agent contract with the Detroit Lions. Defensively, Grant became a Jerry Rice Finalist for best freshman in the Division I-FCS after he led the Aggies in tackles. Mayhew, Robinson, Nathan Isles, Ayodeji Olatoye, Desmond Lawrence and Miles have all earned invites to NFL camps. Isles, Miles and Olatoye signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. Miles still plays in the CFL.
Broadway came to A&T with an impressive history of winning championships with a brand of football that is exciting offensively and punishing defensively. In his last two head coaching positions – N.C. Central and Grambling State – each school came away with a Black College National Championship.
Broadway has compiled a 105-41 (.719) record over 13 years as a head coach. Before taking over the difficult task of rebuilding an Aggies program with just 14 wins in the previous seven seasons before his arrival, Broadway spent four seasons (2007-10) at Grambling State. The Tigers went 35-12 under his leadership. The year before he arrived at GSU, the Tigers went 3-8. During his first season there in 2008, the Tigers finished second in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and made an appearance in the SWAC Championship Game. Five players received either All-American or All-SWAC honors, and Broadway was a finalist for the nationally-recognized Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
Year two led to even more improvements for the GSU program. The Tigers ascended to the top of the SWAC with a 9-0 record and a 41-9 win over Jackson State in the SWAC Championship Game. GSU’s 2008 season also produced an 11-2 overall mark, a No. 24 national ranking in the Sports Network Division I-FCS poll and a Black College National Championship.
Defense was the catalyst for the Tigers’ success as they finished the season ranked No. 1 nationally in turnover margin, pass efficiency defense and had a No. 7 ranking in rush defense. In addition, three players earned All-American honors, nine were named All-SWAC and five players earned Louisiana Sports Writers Association recognition. Accolades for Broadway included being named SWAC Coach of the Year and The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C., Coach of the Year.
In 2009, GSU continued to play well. The Tigers finished 7-4 overall and 5-2 in the SWAC. The next season resulted in a 9-2 mark that was complemented by an 8-1 SWAC record. During his career at GSU, Broadway also showed he had a hankering for winning rivalry games. He went 3-1 against archrival Southern. He also owns the best winning percentage in program history, even better than legendary GSU head coach Eddie Robinson.
Before his stint at GSU, Broadway turned N.C. Central into a Division II national power. His four-year stint (2003-06) at N.C. Central produced a 33-11 record, back-to-back CIAA titles for the first time in 50 years and the Eagles made two consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. The 2006 season was the highlight of Broadway’s tenure at NCCU. Broadway led the Eagles to an 11-1 season and the top seed in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region. After fielding the No. 1 rated offense in the CIAA and the 15th ranked defense nationally, individual honors included two players being named Associated Press Little All-Americans.
There were also 12 players named All-CIAA, 10 Eagles earned Daktronics All-Southeast Region recognition and four members from the 2006 team were named SBN All-Americans, including freshman quarterback Stadford Brown, who was also named SBN Player of the Year. During his stint at NCCU, Broadway also put together a 16-game regular-season winning streak and led the Eagles to their first-ever victory over a SWAC opponent with a win over Southern in 2006.
Broadway began his collegiate coaching career at East Carolina University in 1979. His other coaching positions included stays at Duke University (1981-94), the University of Florida (1995-00) and the University of North Carolina (2001-02). As an assistant at UNC, Broadway helped the Tar Heels to a No. 15 national ranking in total defense and an appearance in the Peach Bowl.
At Florida, he served as a member of the Steve Spurrier’s staff. In 1996, he helped the Gators win an NCAA National Championship. Broadway’s stay also included four SEC Championships and six bowl appearances. The Gators defense led the SEC in sacks four straight seasons (1996-99), and the team set a school record for fewest rushing yards allowed, as offenses produced just 70.7 yards per game.
A 1977 graduate of UNC, Broadway played on the Tar Heels defensive line from 1974-77. He earned the team’s Outstanding Freshman award in 1974 as he helped the Tar Heels earn a Sun Bowl berth. In 1977, he earned All-ACC honors along with the team’s Most Outstanding Senior honor.
|Alma Mater:||North Carolina|