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2022 Speakers

2022 Speaker Schedule

Tuesday, August 16
Mike Norvell

Mike Norvell is entering his third season as the head coach at Florida State University.  Prior to joining the staff at FSU, Norvell built his reputation as one of the top rising coaches in college football. Norvell began his coaching career as a graduate assistant in 2006 at his alma matter the University of Central Arkansas, where he was a wide receiver from 2001 – 2005.  After one season, he moved to the University of Tulsa where he held several positions starting as a graduate assistant and wide receivers coach before serving two years as the passing game coordinator. Novell then spent a year as a co-offensive coordinator at Pittsburg.

Coach Norvell spent four seasons at Arizona State as the offensive coordinator.  During his time at ASU, his teams averaged 38.1 points per game, and he was named deputy head coach at the end of the 2013 season.  He then was named the head coach at the University of Memphis where he led the Tigers to at least eight wins per season, and twice finished with a ranking in the top 25.  In his final year, the team finished 12-1, won the American Athletic Conference, and appeared in the Cotton Bowl. As this football season approaches, Coach Norvell is preparing the Seminoles for an amazing season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 30
Willie"Shotgun" Simmons

Willie “Shotgun” Simmons is a native of Quincy, Florida where he had a distinguished career as a player at Shanks High School.  Simmons was offered scholarships to play at the college level with 25 schools, and signed with Clemson University. In addition to a phenomenal collegiate career, Simmons was stellar in the classroom and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Marketing in only three years, the fastest any player had ever graduated from the school.  Simmons attempted to transfer to FAMU for his senior season, but was deemed ineligible to compete due to FAMU’s provisional status as a Division 1-A program. Instead, he enrolled at The Citadel. During his senior session he received All-Southern Conference First Team honors after leading the team to their first non-losing season in 10 years. While under his leadership, the Bulldogs also defeated Furman, Appalachia State, and Georgia Southern in the same season, a feat that had only been done by Marshall University.

Simmons began his coaching career in 2005 right here in Tallahassee as the quarterbacks coach and passing coordinator at Lincoln High School, coaching USF and Super Bowl Champion BJ Daniels.  After one season, Simmons moved back to Clemson as a graduate assistant who focused his energy on the quarterbacks.  In 2007, Simmons moved on to Middle Tennessee State University where he spent five years as the running backs coach, passing coordinator, and offensive coordinator before moving on to Alcorn State.  Simmons was named the head coach for Prairie View A & M in 2015.  During his three seasons at Prairie View, Simmons brought the program to contender status in the SWAC Western Division.  While at Prairie View, he had 21-11 overall record and a 19-6 league record, highlighted by his debut in 2015 with an 8-2 record with a runner up finish.

In 2018, Simmons was named the head coach for FAMU.  The program saw significant improvement as they went from a 2-6 record the prior year to 5-2 in his first season, and quarterback Ryan Stanley was named MEAC Offensive Player of the Year.  Improvement continued into 2019, as the air attack was unstoppable and the team had a 9-2 record, the sixth best winning percentage in the nation, and they won the HBCU National Championship.  Last year FAMU made the FCS playoffs for the first time since 2001. The biggest win for the Rattlers last year was their final regular season game where they defeated the Wildcats 46-21 in the Florida Classic. Simmons is now entering his fifth season with the Rattlers.

 

Tuesday, September 13
Speaker Info Coming Soon

 

 

Tuesday, September 27
Mike Smith

Raised in Daytona Beach, Mike smith played linebacker at Father Lopez Catholic High School then collegiately for East Tennessee State University.  Following his playing days, Smith took up coaching, where he held a variety of positions at San Diego State, Morehead State, and Tennessee Tech before being named the defensive assistant and defensive line coach for the Baltimore Ravens in 1999.  In 2002, Smith was promoted to the linebackers’ coach, and had the opportunity to coach future standouts such as Ray Lewis and local legend Peter Boulware.  Following his Super Bowl XXXV win with the Ravens, he was named the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars where he spent five seasons before accepting the head coaching position for the Atlanta Falcons in 2008.  In 2010, Smith led the team to a record 13-3, earning the NFC South title for the team’s second time and fourth divisional championship.  During his career with the Falcons, Smith became the franchise’s winningest coach, and was awarded the 2008 NFL Coach of the Year Award by the Associated Press and for the Sporting News in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 11
Pam Oliver

Pam Oliver, graduate of Florida A & M University, is a Senior Correspondent and FOX NFL Reporter for FOX Sports.  During her career at FOX, Oliver has provided coverage for eight Super Bowls and was the lead feature reporter on FOX NFL Sunday for many years. Additionally, she co-anchored FSN South’s Southern Sport Report from 2000 to 2003.  Prior to joining FOX Sports, Oliver was an ESPN reporter where she gained her football experience covering NFL Playoffs and NFC Championship Games.  She was also the feature reported on NFL Prime Monday, and covered each Monday Night Football matchup.

In 2014, Oliver served as the moderator for President Barack Obama’s Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit and the White House, and in 2016 contributed several features for 60 Minutes Sports as a correspondent.

Oliver has received numerous awards throughout her career.  Several of these include, the 2019 Atlanta Women in Sports Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 Alliance for Women in Media’s Gracie Award, and the Women In Sports and Events (WISE) named her one of its Women of the Year in 2008.  As an undergraduate at FAMU, Oliver was an Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women track and field All-American in the 200 meters and mile relay. She was also a participant on the first women’s team from FAMU to win a national championship.  FAMU inducted her in to the FAMU Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 for her individual accomplishments in track and field, and again in 2016 when FAMU’s women’s mile relay team was recognized.

Oliver is a board member and event host with the Trey Whitfield Foundation, an organization that awards scholarships to economically disadvantaged inner-city children to help them pursue prep school educations and later attend college.

 

Tuesday, October 25
Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell was raised in Beloit, Wisconsin where he earned nine varsity letters as a three-sport athlete at his high school.  During his senior year, Caldwell had an undefeated football season, won a state championship in basketball, and his 4 x 400 track squad finished second in the state.  Accepting a scholarship from the University of Iowa, Caldwell earned a position as a defensive back and started all four years. He was inspired and led into coaching by Bob Cummings, his head coach at Iowa.   

Caldwell had a distinguished career as a college coach from 1977 to 2000.  He began as a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa, then moved on to Southern Illinois, Northwestern, Colorado, Louisville, and Penn State.  In 1993, Caldwell was named Head Coach for Wake Forest, becoming the first African-American Head Coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In 2001, Caldwell moved on to the NFL spending one season at Tampa Bay as the quarterbacks coach before moving on to the position of assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Indianapolis Colts.  After seven seasons, Caldwell was named the head coach for the Colts in 2009.  During his first season as head coach, the team record was 14-2 and he because the NFL’s only rookie head coach to win his first 14 games in a season in addition to the fifth rookie to reach the Super Bowl.

Following his time in Indianapolis, Caldwell’s was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens under the leadership of John Harbaugh for two seasons.  He then spent tree seasons in Detroit as the head coach for the Lions, the first African American to be hired in this position.  Most recently, he spent one season with the Miami Dolphins as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

Throughout his tenure in the NFL, Caldwell had the privilege of coaching quarterback greats such as FSU’s Brad Johnson and Tennessee’s Peyton Manning.  He now focuses his time on family, but is involved in a variety of charitable organizations including All Pro Dad, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Midnight Golf Program, and the Charlie Sanders Foundation.

 

Tuesday, November 15
Darius "Dari" Nowkhal

Dari Nowkhah is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and 1998 graduate of the University of Oklahoma earning a degree in broadcast journalism.  He began his career in Montana where he was the sports director for a local station for two years, receiving first place in sports reporting in the pacific northwest from the Society of Professional Journalists.  He then moved on to a position as a sports anchor for a local station in Lincoln, Nebraska, and then on to a position with a CBS affiliate in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nowkhah joined ESPN in 2004 as an ESPNNEWS anchor, and in 2011 was promoted to the host of ESPNU.  He also served as a SportsCenter anchor and hosted shows that included Baseball Tonight and College Football Live.  Currently, Nowkhah is the host and anchor on the SEC Network.  He regularly appears on SEC Now during the week, and Saturday evenings during football season.  In addition, it is not uncommon to hear Dari calling play-by-plays for men’s basketball and baseball, and you can hear him as a co-host on ESPN Radio’s weekly Dari and Mel Show on Saturdays.  In 2013, he was recognized by the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma as the Young Professional of the Year.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 29
Speaker Info Coming Soon

 

Tuesday, December 13 - Annual Jamboree Awards Night
Speaker Info Coming Soon