In January 2008, Coach George M. Small began his second stint on the Florida A&M University football coaching staff, bringing a wealth of experience in the game to his new assignment to the Orange and Green as Associate Head Coach and Defensive Line Coach.
Small previously served one season (1993) as the D efensive Coordinator at FAMU under Head Coach Ken Riley. In 2003, Small returned to his alma mater to become the 13th head football coach in storied history of North Carolina A&T, making a bit of history in the process when he led the Aggies to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles in his first season – the school’s sixth MEAC championship.
That 2003 A&T squad finished 10-3 (6-1 MEAC), only the second time in 80 seasons of football to that point, that the program posted double digit victories. Small earned several individual honors as he was named Coach of the Year by the MEAC, the Pigskin Club (Washington, D.C.), and the 100% Wrong Club of Atlanta, Ga. A finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award given to the I-AA Coach of the Year by The Sports Network, he led North Carolina A&T to one the nation’s most improved records in his first season as head coach in 2003, posting a 10-3 mark after the Aggies went 4-8 in 2002.
Small has 24 years of coaching experience as defensive line coach, defensive coordinator and head coach. He brings intensity, energy and keen understanding oof football from all aspects. He knew what it takes to get players to perform.
A native of Radford, NC, a small town in southeast portion of the state, Small excelled as an athlete at Hoke County High School. After high school he resumed his athletic career at North Carolina A&T State University, where he played on the gridiron as an offensive and defensive lineman.
Small played four years of football for the Aggies, earning All MEAC honors while serving as the team captain during his senior season. Following the season, Small was honored as a Pittsburgh Courier All- American and was selected to the North Carolina All-State team. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in recreation administration in December of 1979, and was named as a National Dean List honoree, and as Who’s Who Among Outstanding Names and Faces.
In addition, Small is an August 1990 magna cum laude graduate of the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Alabama with a master’s degree in sports science/sports management.
He has also completed 20 hours of work toward a masters in Counseling and Student Personnel with an emphasis in Student Personnel Services from Oklahoma State University (1988); attended the NCAA Coaches Academy Advanced Coaching Program (Louisville, Ky., January 2005); served an NFL Minority Fellowship with the Cleveland Browns (July 2005); completed the Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) Program of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Associations (April 2007).
Small also enjoyed a five-year stretch in the National Football League, which included tours with the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, before embarking on a career in coaching.
Bit by the coaching bug after his professional playing days, Small began his coach career by serving on several collegiate staffs as a defensive line coach and coordinator.
He served stints at Langston (Okla.) University (Defensive Coordinator , 1988-89); Savannah (Ga.) State University (Defensive Coordinator 1990-91); University of Tulsa (Defensive Line Coach, 1992); Florida A&M University (Defensive Coordinator, 1993), and Grambling (La.) State University (Defensive Coordinator, 1994).
Ironically, Small’s contacts would eventually lead him to the his first head coaching position as in 1995. Small was given the opportunity to guide his first program as a head coach at NCAA Division II Kentucky State.
He took over a team that had not had a winning season in 20 years and made them a title contender with a strong defense, a move which led to a 1995 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference crown and conference Coach of the Year Honors.
Small had an immediate impact, when in his first season (1995), KSU won the inaugural Pioneer Bowl, the annual clash between the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) champions with a 30-26 victory over Livingstone. In typical Small fashion, the Thorobreds won the game on a defensive goal line stand as the horn sounded.
KSU finished 7-5 that season and led the NCAA Division Two in total defense.
In 1997, Small again was honored by the SIAC and the 100 % Wrong Club as Coach of the Year. At KSU, Small produced four players that were drafted into the NFL, and several others joined various professional football leagues. Small completed his career at KSU with a 34-35 record in six seasons as head coach. He was honored as official Kentucky Colonel by former Kentucky Governor George Patton.
In 2001, he left Kentucky State to become the an assistant at Division I-AA power Youngstown State, where he coached defensive line. The Penguins finished 7-4 on the season with defensive tackle Guy Mazard earning Gateway Football Conference all-start honors.
Following the season (2002), Small joined the staff at Hampton, where he coached All-MEAC selection Issac Hilton, a seventh round pick in the 2003 NFL Draft. Small is a member of the American Football Association (AFCA), Association of Black College Football Coaches (ABCFC), National Football League Alumni Association (NFLAA), and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).