By Paul Holston, Editor-in-Chief
Posted 4:45 PM EST, Mon., Jan. 9, 2017
Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick and Athletics Director Kery Davis formally introduced Mike London as the university’s new head football coach during a press conference on Monday, January 9 in College Hall South. In attendance were players of the Howard Bison football team, who were attentive while listening to their new head football coach speak.
“I can tell the guys that are here, the players, that we are here to win championships,” London said. “We’re here to win on the field, to win off the field and we’re going to win in the community. The old days and old ways are now the new days and the new ways.”
Prior to his remarks, Frederick expressed confidence in London to take charge of the Howard Bison as he said that college athletics is a competitive activity that requires excellence on the field, but it also requires student-athletes to make sure that they excel in the classroom.
“Today, while we are here to talk about the future of the Howard University football program, I hope it’s clear to all involved that this is an investment in the athletics programs as well,” said Frederick. “The Board of Trustees and I believe that Mr. London brings outstanding leadership, experience and is sure to be a tremendous resource to the entire Howard community.”
Davis said that when searching for a new head football coach, Howard wanted someone to be a leader of men.
“We wanted the idea of a CEO of our football program…someone whose integrity and character was beyond approachable. Someone who can take 18-year-old young men that we have come into this institution, nurture them and be a part of their success…not only on the field, not only in the classroom, but also in life,” said Davis.
In his remarks, London spent the majority of his time at the podium facing the Howard Bison football players and addressing what he expects to implement during his tenure.
“The first standard is to go to class because it’s in your best interest to become an educated man,” said London. “The second is to show class…to show class how you handle success, because we will have success, and how you handle adversity, as life is full of adversity. The last is to treat people with dignity and respect.”
London comes to Howard after spending this past season as the University of Maryland’s associate head coach and defensive line coach. Prior to Maryland, he was the head coach at the University of Virginia from 2010 to 2015 and was head coach at his alma mater, the University of Richmond, where his team won the 2008 national FCS championship. He currently has a 52-50 record in eight seasons as a Division I head coach.
After hearing London’s remarks, sophomore wide-receiver Evan Brooks, a broadcast journalism major, said that he believes London is a great hire for Howard and looks forward to working with him in the upcoming season.
“He’s going to hold us to a high standard off the field and make sure that we’re not just good players on the field, but also become well-trained, young men that can raise families on our own to go out into the world and make a difference,” said Brooks.
As the new head football coach, all eyes will be on London as he will work to change up the entire football program, as the team struggled last season with a 2-9 record.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be standing here before you as the next head football coach of Howard University,” said London. “This is an opportunity to increase my family, to embrace another fan-base, to develop other young men that aspire to be doctors, lawyers, wherever you want to be because I stand here before you saying you can be whatever you want to be, whether it’s on the field or off the field.”
To watch the full press conference, click on the link below:
— The Hilltop (@TheHilltopHU) January 9, 2017
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