Monthly Archives: July 2019

Matt Shadeed – Head Strength Coach UMass Football



Matt Shadeed, head strength coach of UMASS Football. Coach Shadeed has previously coached at Baylor, Arkansas State, Ole Miss, and Southern Miss and has spent a good portion of his career with head coach – Walt Bell.

When visiting UMASS and spending the day with Shadeed, I was amazed by his energy. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it. I asked him about it on the pod you’ll find interesting.

One of the biggest hires for a head football coach is the strength coach. The strength coach is the glue of the program, the one person who is around the players the most, whether it be during season or the off season. He is responsible for transforming an 18 year old freshman boy into a 22 – 23 year old senior man.  This is why the strength coach is also one of the highest paid coaches on a staff…..they are THAT important.

It was evident the level of respect the UMASS players have for Coach Shadeed. They look up to him, they workout and have fun with him, they rally around him. Walt Bell made a great hire here, and it’s going to be fun to watch Bell and Shadeed build the UMASS program brick by brick to prominence.

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Willie Simmons – Head Coach Florida A&M



Willie Simmons, head coach at FAMU, also known as Florida A&M. Coming out of high school, Simmons was a stud QB highly recruited and committed to Clemson and then transferred to the Citadel where he finished his college playing career. Coach Simmons then hit the coaching world as a RB’s coach at Middle Tennessee State and became the OC where he had a top 20 offense in the country. He was responsible for turning around the Alcorn State program’s offense as well as Prairie View A&M where he was the head coach and had one of the top scoring offenses in the nation. Today, Willie and his program at FAMU are set to be at the top of the MEAC and FCS. Needless to say, at age 38, the future is very bright for Coach Simmons.

I remember when Coach was our RB’s coach at MTSU. Always  cool, calm and collected, coach had an unbelievable rapport with us players and of course his fellow coaches. It was great to reconnect with Willie, and spend the day with him. As he drove me around the FAMU campus, I had no idea that it and Florida State touch borders. Obviously a great recruiting tool for Simmons at FAMU, Tallahassee has a lot to offer. A college town, but still has what a large city has to offer. Seeing where Willie is now and how successful he has been, I can only think about where he’ll be in 5-7 years. I would say a head coach at a big time university. I hope you enjoy the pod, and as always let me know your thoughts via the website at http://talkinball.com.

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Follow TALKIN’ BALL Podcast on Twitter: @genedelledonne and IG: @genedelledonne. Listen @ talkinball.com