Rod Broadway has decided to go out on top.
A month after leading NC A&T to the first undefeated season in MEAC history and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities national championship, the 62-year-old coach has decided to retire. Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Sam Washington has already been named as Broadway’s replacement.
The school broke the not-so-surprising news on its Twitter feed Monday, saying that “as you all know now, Coach Broadway will be retiring.
“The Aggie football program would like to thank you for everything you have done for it,” the post continued. “You’re an amazing coach and (we) wish you nothing but the best.”
Broadway, a Stanly County native who played college football at North Carolina, spent 15 seasons as a head coach, compiling a 127-45 record at NC Central, Grambling and, for the past seven years, A&T. His .738 winning percentage is the third best in FCS history and includes a 59-22 mark with the Aggies.
He added what turned out to be a final exclamation point to his career on Dec. 16 in Atlanta with a 21-14 Celebration Bowl victory that clinched his fifth HBCU title and second since coming to Greensboro.
It was an accomplishment made all the more impressive by the fact that A&T went 1-10 the season before he was hired in 2011, had recently endured a 27-game losing streak and was under NCAA sanctions for its subpar academic performance.
“Coach Broadway,” Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs said, “he’s one of the pillars of black college football.”
Broadway said publicly that he was considering retirement after his team’s Celebration Bowl victory and that he would sit down with athletic director Earl Hilton III to discuss his future after the start of the new year.
His contract, which paid him $299,290 in 2017, expired at the end of the season.
Interviewed recently by the Stanly County Journal, Broadway hinted as though he might not be done with coaching.
“I don’t know where the finish line is right now. It’s definitely not in sight,” Broadway said. “I’m anxious about the future — where we’re going, what we’re doing and how we’re doing things.”
In spite of his impressive resume, Broadway said his most cherished accomplishment in coaching has been the successes his players have gone on to achieve once they’ve left the program. Among the most heralded is running back Tarik Cohen, who has gone on to become a Pro Bowler for the NFL’s Chicago Bears.
Broadway’s legacy will make replacing him difficult. But according to Hilton, Washington is the right choice to take on that challenge. His defenses have been ranked No. 1 in the MEAC in four of the seven seasons he’s been at A&T.
“Coach Washington holds many of the same characteristics as Coach Broadway,” Hilton said. “We have believed for some time that Coach Washington has the skills, temperament and leadership qualities to be a collegiate head coach. We are confident the trajectory of the football program will remain on a winning path with coach Washington at the helm. We are eager to see him do well in a position he richly deserves.”