Ed Reed says Bethune-Cookman will not ratify his contract to be school’s next head coach

Ed Reed says Bethune-Cookman will not ratify his contract to be school’s next head coach

Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed announced Saturday he will no longer be the next head coach at Bethune-Cookman after the school declined to ratify his contract. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Reed entered an agreement in principle to become the program’s next head coach in December.
  • “I was committed to coaching and cultivating with the university, players, and fans,” Reed said in a release. “It’s extremely disappointing this won’t be happening.”
  • Reed apologized earlier this week for comments he made on social media criticizing the university and its facilities.
  • Bethune-Cookman, which plays in the FCS’ Southwestern Athletic Conference, went 2-9 last season.


In a statement released through his foundation, Reed said Bethune-Cookman and his legal team had been working on contract terms “with the language and resources we knew were needed to build a successful football program” and the decision to not ratify his contract came after “weeks of negotiations.”

While Reed has never been a head coach at the high school or collegiate level, he’s been around college and high school athletes quite a bit since retiring in 2013. In 2020, Reed was hired by Manny Diaz as his Chief of Staff at Miami. He served in that advisory role for two years before Mario Cristobal took over as coach in 2022, and was still spotted at a few Miami practices in the lead-up to the 2022 season. Reed, 44, also spent 2016 as the assistant defensive backs coach with the Buffalo Bills.

Drafted at No. 24 in 2002 after notching a program-record 21 interceptions at Miami, Reed was selected to nine Pro Bowls during his 12-year NFL career spent mostly with the Baltimore Ravens.

What does this mean for Ed Reed’s coaching future?

Unless another HBCU or FCS program steps up and offers him a job, it’s difficult to forecast what’s next for Reed. All the time he spent around Miami’s program in recent years clearly made him interested in taking on a bigger role than consultant. But being a head coach at the lower levels of college football probably just isn’t the right fit.

Not everyone is cut out to deal with some of the financial shortcomings and challenges at HBCUs and other FCS programs. What Reed complained about last week on social media rarely happens at the Power 5 or NFL level. So, maybe a step back into an assistant role in the NFL is what’s needed if he really wants to become a Power 5 head coach like Deion Sanders. — Navarro

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(Photo: Doug Murray / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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