TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(Feb. 22) – Today, Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., announced the promotion of John Eason, Ph.D. to Director of Athletics. The FAMU alumnus has served as interim director of Athletics since December 2017.
“It’s an extreme honor to have the opportunity to continue to move FAMU Athletics forward within the scope of the excellence of this great university,” Eason said. “I do not take it lightly and will use all resources available to me to better equip our student-athletes, coaches, and staff to be successful in the classroom and on the fields of competition.”
During his brief tenure, Eason has made several leadership changes in FAMU Athletics, including securing Willie Simmons as the Rattlers' new head football coach. Keith Miles, former general manager of the University’s radio station moved to Athletics in January to become deputy athletic director. His voice was a familiar one to fans for more than 30 years as the play-by-play announcer and executive producer of the Rattler Sports Radio Network.
Eason also recently hired Kendra Greene to serve as associate athletic director for compliance and senior woman administrator. Prior to arriving at FAMU, she worked at Alabama State University as senior athletic director for internal operations.
Considered one of FAMU’s favorite sons, Eason brings an impressive resume replete with experience from a long and successful career in coaching and administration in collegiate and professional athletics.
“I am excited that Dr. Eason has accepted this position and will become part of my senior leadership team for the long haul,” said President Robinson. “I have been pleased with his ability to make critical and timely decisions in Athletics. He has a vision for working with staff, faculty, students, alumni and stakeholders to reinvigorate the program, improve facilities and ensure the continued success of student-athletes in the classroom and on the field.”
Rattler Boosters Board of Directors President Selvin Cobb was pleased to hear about Eason’s promotion.
"What we need at this point is stability,” said Cobb. “This appointment provides just that. We look forward to working with him in any manner that will benefit the Athletics Department."
Eason is a native of Ocala, Florida, who played football at FAMU from 1964 to 1967, under Hall of Fame coaching legend A.S. “Jake” Gaither. Eason blossomed into an All-America tight end and punter. He was inducted into the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
After graduating from Florida A&M, Eason played one year in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders (1968), one season with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) in 1969, and later returned to the CFL in 1972 with the Montreal Alouettes.
Eason holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida A&M University and earned a doctorate from Florida State University (FSU) in educational administration in 1987. His coaching stops included 12 years (1981-1992) as receivers coach at FSU and four years as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at South Carolina (1995-98).
In 2001, Eason joined the coaching staff for the University of Georgia Bulldogs (UGA) and moved up to become director of football operations. Eason came to UGA with Mark Richt as wide receivers coach and assistant head coach in 2001.
He also served as an associate head coach at UGA from 2005-08. He moved in 2009 to director of football operations and to director of player development in 2010.
Following his 14 years at FSU from 1981-1994, Eason served as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at South Carolina from 1995-1998. While at FSU, Eason also served as an assistant to the athletic director for academic and student affairs.
During his tenure at FSU, the Seminoles won one national championship (1993) and eight bowl games. In his 14 seasons, Eason coached seven wide receivers who received All-America recognition including three first-team selections.
At UGA, among others, he coached receivers Terrence Edwards, Fred Gibson, Reggie Brown, Mohamed Massaquoi and A.J. Green.
Eason has also served as an assistant professor in the Department of Human Service and Wellness at the University of Central Florida in 1999-2000.
In addition, he has held positions as offensive coordinator and associate head coach of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League during the 2000 season while on leave from UCF.
Eason is married to the former Vanessa Long of Tallahassee. They have two children, Amanda and Michael.