Rudy Hubbard

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Rudy Hubbard
Rudy Hubbard - Tallahassee, Florida.jpg
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born 1946 (age 68–69)
Hubbard, Ohio
Playing career
1964-1968 Ohio State University
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1974-1985 Florida A&M University
Head coaching record
Overall 83-48-3
Accomplishments and honors
2 Black College Nat'l Championships
(1976, 1978)
Florida A&M University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990

Rudy Hubbard (born 1946) was the former head football coach at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida, from 1974 to 1985.

Hubbard was born in Hubbard, Ohio, a small steel mill town near Youngstown, Ohio.[1] He attended Ohio State University, where he was a running back from 1964 to 1968. After graduation, Hubbard was hired by then Head Coach Woody Hayes as an assistant coach in 1968, making Hubbard the first African-American on the coaching staff of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team. He stayed on the coaching staff for six seasons before moving on to take the head coach position at Florida A&M University in 1974. Hubbard received the chance to coach the Rattlers, out of situational circumstance, as the football program at the time was losing ever since the end of the 1969 season, when legendary coach Jake Gaither retired. The FAMU athletics department was looking for someone to turn the FAMU program around, and took the chance on someone, even though he wasn't an HBCU alumnus, who came from a known coaching pedigree.

After a 6-5-0 mark in Hubbard's first year in 1974, the Rattlers went 9-2-0 in 1975, 6-3-2 in 1976, then began a stretch from the 1977 to 1979 seasons, where they went 30-5-0. The Rattlers went unbeaten 11-0-0 in 1977 and in 1978, the Rattlers went 12-1 and wrapped up the season winning the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship held in Wichita Falls, Texas on December 16, 1978, defeating the University of Massachusetts Amherst by the score 35-28, making Florida A&M the first and only HBCU today to have accomplished this feat. In 1979, the Rattlers went 7-4-0 but made an exclamation mark in the season with a 16-13 defeat of the Division I University of Miami Hurricanes. Hubbard spent 12 seasons with the Rattlers, and posted an 83-48-3 (.631) overall record, the third most wins in school history behind fellow FAMU head coaches Jake Gaither (203) and Billy Joe (86). The Rattlers also won 2 Black college football national championships in 1976 (shared with South Carolina State University) and in 1978. The successes achieved by Hubbard during his tenure enabled FAMU football to transition from the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to Division 1-AA independent status, and in 1980 the Rattlers joined the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

The players under Hubbard who went on to play in the National Football League were Frank Marion (linebacker), Ralph Hill (offensive lineman), Tony Samuels (tight end), Clarence Hawkins (running back), Greg Coleman (punter), Gene Atkins (defensive back), and Nate Newton (Pro Bowl offensive lineman). Vince Coleman (Greg Coleman's cousin), was a kicker at FAMU under Hubbard, and a standout player on the FAMU baseball team, went on to a career in Major League Baseball.

Hubbard was relieved of his head coaching duties after the 1985 season. He then took a long hiatus away from the coaching scene, working as an independent financial advisor. In 1990, he was inducted into the Florida A&M University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2008, Hubbard reemerged on the coaching scene, when he was hired at Head Football Coach at James S. Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Florida, where he currently resides.[2]


  1. ^ Tom Archdeacon (1979-10-15). "All you have to do is play defending Division I-AA - 10.15.79 - SI Vault". Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  2. ^ beepbeep™ (2008-03-20). "MEAC/SWAC SPORTS MAIN STREET™: Tallahassee Rickards H.S. hires Rudy Hubbard as football coach". Retrieved 2014-02-04.