SSU Budget Cuts Hit Athletics
When Savannah State officials announced a second round of employee reduction in mid-May, athletic employees were included in the mix.
The cutbacks came as the result of decreased state funding due to falling enrollment.
Thirty university staff members were told in May that their jobs at SSU would end on July 15.
Several members of the SSU athletic staff received letters and in the end, five people from four different sports would end up losing their jobs. Among those were four assistant coaches and one staff member.
The department sliced its budget earlier in the academic year with each sport taking a cut. While SSU did not phase out any sports, those cuts will affect salaries, recruiting and scholarship offerings.
In November 2018, SSU notified 26 faculty members that their employment with the institution would come to an end .Affected faculty continued teaching classes during the duration of their 2018-19 contracts. The affected faculty and staff members were eligible and encouraged to apply for positions that were open at Savannah State or elsewhere in the University System of Georgia.
Former Tompkins, SSU Coach Dies
Paul Russell, a former football coach Tompkins High School and Savannah State University, died on August 8 at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.
Russell, 87, was a standout athlete during his days at Woodville High School and would later go on to play football at St. Augustine’s University.
A military veteran, Russell was a educator who taught at Tompkins High and Scott Middle School. In 1989 the west Savannah native joined the coaching staff at Savannah State. In 2005, Russell was enshrined in the inaugural class of the Woodville-Tompkins Athletic Hall of Fame.
Funeral services were held for Russell on August 17 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Interment was at Cherokee Hill Cemetery.
Newton Earns Preseason Award
Howard University quarterback Caylin Newton has been selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
After winning the 2017 MEAC Rookie of the Year award, Newton ended his sophomore campaign ranked among the nation’s leaders in several categories, including passing yards per completion (1st/16.85) and total offense (7th/313.3) en route to earning the 2018 MEAC Offensive Player of the Year honor. In the season opener against Ohio (Sept. 1), the Atlanta native posted 532 total yards, which was the third-highest output in program history. Newton completed his sophomore campaign as the MEAC’s top passer with 2,629 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games.
Newton is the son of Cecil and Jackie Newton.