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Clark Atlanta University Sets New Course For Football Turn-Around

Posted on Tuesday, July 07, 2015



Donna L. Brock

ATLANTA (JULY 7, 2015)— Looking to transform its current football program into one that consistently produces high-performing student-athletes, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) today announced a decisive shift in its approach to building what new president Ronald A. Johnson, Ph.D., intends to be a force in the SIAC that galvanizes students and alumni, and garners national attention for the University.  The first building block in what will become the “Panther Powerhouse” is the July 13 arrival of Interim Head Coach Kevin Ramsey.

“Coach Ramsey is a model of excellence who has consistently demonstrated his ability to build relationships that yield the highest standard of performance on the field and off,” Johnson said.  “His arrival signals a new, critical cornerstone in a strategic shift that, with the right balance of talent, coaching and training, can precipitate a long-awaited turn-around.  Our goal is not simply to post a better record in one season,” Johnson noted.  “We are looking to build a comprehensive program that sets a new, higher standard in player training, education and safety within the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) and across the HBCU competitive field.  Suffice it to say,” Johnson noted, “that CAU is on the defense.”

Ramsey’s pedigree, shaped considerably by three seasons as secondary coach for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals (2000-02) and NFL coaching internships with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles, is one Johnson believes will be the right match for fortifying and elevating CAU’s program.  Ramsey presently serves as defensive coordinator for Alabama State University (ASU) where his aggressive brand of defense has since 2013 held opponents to a per-game average of 110.1 yards, leading the SWAC and ranking 11th nationally.  With Ramsey at the helm, ASU led the SWAC in quarterback sacks with 50, a 4.17 per game average that placed ASU second among all NCAA Division I-AA/Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams.

Ramsey was defensive coordinator at Texas Southern University (TSU) from 2009-10 and, after serving as interim head coach during the 2011 season, returned to his post in 2012.  His team record topped the FCS in total defense in 2010 (204.9 yards per game allowed) and 2011 (245.0 yards per game allowed), and in fewest first downs allowed (140 in 2010; 141 in 2011).  His 2010 squad led the nation in six statistical categories: total defense, fewest first downs allowed, sacks (45), tackles for loss (112), lowest third down percentage allowed (22.5) and pass efficiency defense (78.9).

Prior to coaching at Texas Southern, Ramsey, who began his coaching career as a graduate assistant during Kansas State University’s 1984-85 season, spent five seasons as defensive coordinator at Carson-Newman College (2004-08), where his units ranked in the top 20 in various national categories each season. He has coached at some of the nation’s largest schools:  Kansas State (1987-89, outside linebackers), Northwestern (1990-92, defensive line/defensive backs), West Virginia (1993-94, defensive backs), Tennessee (1995-98, defensive backs), Georgia (1999, defensive coordinator) and Michigan State (2000, defensive backs).  He returned to Arizona State University in 2003 (defensive secondary), after serving as defensive coordinator with the Cardinals.

Ramsey’s coaching acumen has helped secure numerous bowl game appearances, including: the Outback Bowl (Georgia, 2000); the Carquest Bowl (West Virginia, 1995): the Sugar Bowl (West Virginia, 1994); as well as the Citrus Bowl in (1996 and 1997), the Orange Bowl (1998) and the Fiesta Bowl National Championship Game (1999), all with the University of Tennessee.  He most recently was the defense coordinator for the East Team in the Jan. 17, 2015, East vs. West Shrine Bowl, helping clinch a 19-3 East Team victory.

Ramsey earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Indiana State University where he was a three-time All-Missouri Valley defensive back from 1980-83 and a second team All-American as a senior.  He also played baseball.  A native of East St. Louis, Ill., Ramsey and his wife Doreen have four daughters.

“I will spend the next few weeks making a full assessment of the current program’s viability and then we will begin the focused, deliberate work of building a solid, successful football program at Clark Atlanta University,” Ramsey said.

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Category: Students, Athletics, Alumni, Faculty
Keywords: CAU, football, athletics, SIAC, Kevin Ramsey