|Born||1946 (age 70–71)
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1968–1973||Ohio State (assistant)|
|2008–2011||James S. Rickards HS (FL)|
|Head coaching record|
12–25 (high school)
|Tournaments||2–0 (NCAA D-I-AA playoffs)|
|Accomplishments and honors|
|1 NCAA Division I-AA (1978)
2 Black college national (1977–1978)
|Florida A&M University Athletics Hall of Fame (1990)|
Rudy Hubbard (born 1946) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida from 1974 to 1985, compiling a record of 83–48–3. Hubbard led the Florida A&M Rattlers to the inaugural NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship, in 1978, and consecutive black college football national championship, in 1977 and 1978. Hubbard played college football at Ohio State University, lettering from 1965 to 1967. Following his graduation from Ohio State in 1968, he remained with the Buckeyes for six seasons as an assistant coach under Woody Hayes. In 2008 Hubbard returned to coaching the high school level, serving as head football coach at James S. Rickards High School in Tallahassee for four seasons.
Hubbard was born in Hubbard, Ohio, a small steel mill town near Youngstown. He attended Ohio State University, where he was a running back from 1965 to 1967. 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.
After a 6–5 mark in Hubbard's first year in 1974, the Rattlers went 9–2 in 1975, 6–3–2 in 1976, then began a stretch from the 1977 to 1979 seasons, where they went 30–5. The Rattlers went unbeaten at 11–0 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 UMass Minutemen by the score 35–28. Florida A&M remains the only Historically black college to have accomplished won the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship. In 1979, the Rattlers went 7–4 but made an exclamation mark in the season with a 16–13 defeat of the Division I 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 two Black college football national championships in 1977 (shared with Grambling State and South Carolina State) and in 1978. During Hubbard's tenure, FAMU transitioned from the NCAA Division II's Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) to NCAA Division I-AA independent status, and then joined Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) in 1980.
The players under Hubbard who went on to play in the National Football League (NFL) 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 as head football coach at James S. Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Florida, where he currently resides. After compiling a record of 12–25 over four years, Hubbard stepped down from his position at Rickards following the 2011 season.
Head coaching record
|Florida A&M Rattlers (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1974–1978)|
|1976||Florida A&M||6–5||W Orange Blossom Classic|
|1975||Florida A&M||9–2||W Orange Blossom Classic|
|1976||Florida A&M||6–3–2||W Orange Blossom Classic|
|1977||Florida A&M||11–0||W Orange Blossom Classic|
|1978||Florida A&M||12–1||W Orange Blossom Classic, W NCAA Division I-AA Championship||3|
|Florida A&M Rattlers (NCAA Division I-AA independent) (1979)|
|Florida A&M Rattlers (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) (1980–1983)|
|Florida A&M Rattlers (NCAA Division I-AA independent) (1984–1985)|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
- Tom Archdeacon (October 15, 1979). "All you have to do is play defending Division I-AA - 10.15.79 - SI Vault". Sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- beepbeep™ (March 30, 2008). "MEAC/SWAC SPORTS MAIN STREET™: Tallahassee Rickards H.S. hires Rudy Hubbard as football coach". Meacswacsports.blogspot.com. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- "Icon Rudy Hubbard Steps Away from Coaching Sidelines". Tallahassee, Florida: WCTV. January 16, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2015.