Tuskegee hires new head coach, doesn’t mention Willie Slater’s departure

Reginald Ruffins, L, has been named as the replacement for longtime Tuskegee University...
Reginald Ruffins, L, has been named as the replacement for longtime Tuskegee University athletics director and head football coach Willie Slater, R.(Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 4:54 PM CST
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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - Tuskegee University has parted ways with longtime athletics director and head football coach Willie Slater, announcing his replacement without acknowledging Slater’s departure.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed former Miles College athletics director and head football coach Reginald Ruffin would take over Slater’s roles, though the university made no reference to Slater or his accomplishments in the announcement.

Slater, who has more than 40 years of athletics and coaching experience, was in his 16th year at the Golden Tigers head coach and fourth as athletics director. The university posted the athletic director job on Nov. 8 and the head coaching position on Dec. 17.

WSFA 12 News reached out to the university’s communications office following the athletics director posting and was told they had no information at the time. The university announced its new coach Tuesday, several hours after WSFA 12 News inquired about the head coach job being posted.

It’s unclear if Slater remains employed by Tuskegee University or if the parties reached an amicable departure agreement.

“Ruffin’s appointment comes at a crucial time as the athletics department prepares for the upcoming football recruiting season. Ruffin’s leadership will allow Tuskegee to get off to a quick start this spring,” the university said in its announcement.

“We are excited to see the return of Reginald Ruffin to Tuskegee,” said President Charlotte P. Morris. “He has proven himself a leader among the SIAC football conference, and we look forward to him taking our program to the next level.”

Ruffin previously worked at Tuskegee University for five seasons from 2006-10 as the Golden Tigers’ defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.

Ruffin’s return comes after completing one of the most successful decades in the history of Miles College and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In nine seasons at the helm of the Golden Bears, Ruffin led the program to four SIAC championships and an additional SIAC Championship game appearance. The school has also made two NCAA postseason appearances. Over nine seasons, Ruffin has won more than 60 percent of his games, going 59-39 overall, and was named SIAC Coach of the Year three times.

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