Mattox Retires From US Navy
After 20 years of service to his county, former Savannah State track athlete Thomas “Bubba” Mattox has retired from the US Navy. Mattox’s retirement ceremony took place on May 24 at the Mayport Base Chapel at the Mayport Naval Base outside of Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating with a criminal justice degree from SSU in 1993, Mattox entered the navy as a Ensign and rose to the rank of LT Commander by the time he retired. In those 20 years, he has lived in three states and has visited four countries. His highest personal awards include Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. The son of Thomas Sr. and Almisha Mattox who are also SSU graduates, earned a track scholarship to SSU where he competed in the 1500m, 3000m, distance medley and the 4x400m relay team. Mattox is currently working on a high school Navy JROTC Instructor position. Mattox is married to the former Phyllis Oliver, also a SSU grad, and they have one son, AJ. Among those witnessing the ceremony were family and friends from SSU, Savannah’s Johnson High.
FAMU Fires AD
The contract of Derek Horne will not be renewed as athletic director at Florida A&M. Last week, Horne was placed on administrative leave with pay until September 7, the same day his contract ends. Horne was paid $200,000 per year. When FAMU hired Horne in 2010, the school had a large deficit and it now stands around $ 7 million. Michael Smith, the FAMU associate AD will serve as interim athletic director until a replacement can be found in a national search.
Tigers Earn Academic Honors
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference recently announced the 2013 Baseball All-Academic selections, honoring 81 student-athletes, from the conference’s 13 institutions who achieved academic success during the 2012-13 academic school year. 12 of the 81 players honored hail from Savannah State. Earning academic honors from SSU were Darrien Campbell, Rexford Davis, Tommy Freeman, Todd Hagen, Kevin Herlihy, Joseph McCary, Michael McHugh, Giancarlo Mirable, Theodore Page, Drew Quinney, David Richards and Uriah Virgo.
New SSU Coach Has High Powered Offense
With the hiring of Earnest Wilson III as the new Savannah State football coach, the Tigers will also be getting a high-powered offense called “Air Raid”. Jackson State went 8-3 and 9-2 in Wilson’s two years as offensive coordinator, and in 2011 led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in scoring, total offense, pass offense, pass efficiency and first downs. The Tigers led FCS in total offense (490.91 yards per game), were third in pass offense (348.09 yards per game) and ninth in scoring (35.82). The offensive system is a pass-first scheme that incorporates backs, as well as multiple receivers. During the 2012 season, Wilson was the offensive coordinator at Hampton. Although the Pirates had a 3-7 record, HU averaged 21 points and 317 yards per game.