TALLAHASSEE — Willie Simmons was named football coach at Florida A&M on Monday. The Tallahassee native will be introduced today.
Simmons, 37, has been the coach at Prairie View A&M the past three seasons (21-11, including 6-5 this season). He played at Clemson and the Citadel.
FAMU last had a winning record in 2011. Alex Wood resigned on Nov. 20 after going 8-25 in three seasons.
UF DEPARTURES: Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan is skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft, he announced on Instagram. The 6-foot-4, 291-pound redshirt junior was among the Gators’ leaders with four sacks and 40 tackles (six for a loss) on the interior of the line. Receiver Antonio Callaway, will also reportedly turn pro. Other Gators with decisions to make include running back Jordan Scarlett, offensive lineman Martez Ivey and kicker Eddy Pineiro. Also, Mississippi State director of strength and conditioning Nick Savage joined UF in the same role.
MICHIGAN: Mississippi quarterback Shea Patterson said he will transfer to the Wolverines. Patterson is recovering from a right knee injury.
SMU: The Mustangs are finalizing a deal to hire former California and Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes as their coach, according to reports.
Basketball: USF falls 65-53
TAMPA — USF was bereft of built-in excuses Monday against FIU. Like the Bulls, the Panthers underwent a massive roster overhaul in the offseason, and were coming off a nine-day layoff.
Yet while the Bulls remained sluggish all 40 minutes, FIU found just enough touch and tempo to pull away for a 65-53 victory before a Sun Dome crowd generously announced at 2,040.
USF (4-6), loser of four in a row, led 25-24 at halftime, but the Panthers went on an 18-4 run to open the second half. The Bulls shot 33.3 percent (20-of-60), managing only two more field goals than turnovers. FIU converted 18 points off the turnovers.
Center Isaiah Manderson had 12 points off the bench to lead USF. Point guard Stephan Jiggetts had 10 points and went 3-of-7 from 3-point range, but the rest of his team was 1-of-9.
Bulls forward Tulio Da Silva had a career-best 17 rebounds.
FSU JUMPS AHEAD OF UF: The Seminoles entered the AP men’s poll at No. 17, and the Gators had the biggest drop, from No. 5 to 22. Villanova moved to No. 1 and Arizona State leaped 11 spots to No. 5. In the women’s poll, USF fell six spots to No. 22.
Times staff writers Joey Knight and Matt Baker contributed to this report.