Football coach Connell Maynor leaving WSSU for Hampton

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Football coach Connell Maynor is leaving Winston-Salem State University to take the job at Hampton University.

Hampton and WSSU are expected to release the details this afternoon in a joint statement. A spokesman in the athletics office at Hampton confirmed Maynor’s hiring.

“We’ll have more a little later,” the spokesman said.

Maynor, 44, broke the news to his assistant coaches this morning during a meeting that also was attended by Athletics Director Bill Hayes, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the meeting who asked not to be identified.

Linebacker Carlos Fields, who played for Maynor all four seasons, said the players knew that something was going to happen this off-season. Maynor had interviewed for other vacant positions after each season.

“Coach Maynor has been here for four years and he did an amazing job,” Fields said today. “From a 1-10 program (in 2009) to conference championships, (HBCU) national championships, region championships and I felt like he’s accomplished a lot of things. The only thing we didn’t accomplish was the (Division II) national championship.”

Maynor will take over for Donovan Rose, who compiled a 25-30 record in five seasons. Rose has been reassigned to another department within the university, according to a spokesman at Hampton.

Fields said that Hampton made the right decision.

“I wish Coach Maynor the best of luck,” Fields said. “Hampton made the best decision they have ever made because he’s a winner and he’s proven that.”

Maynor compiled a 45-6 record in four seasons, the best four-year period in the history of WSSU football. He has the best winning percentage in program history (.882), and his 45 wins rank fourth all-time at the school.

Over the past three seasons, the Rams went 7-3 in the NCAA Division II playoffs and became a Division II power. In 2012, WSSU became the first CIAA program and second HBCU program to reach the Division II championship game and finished 14-1.

This past season, the Rams finished 10-2 after a 7-0 loss to Shepherd in the second round of the playoffs.

The Rams have a 24-game win streak against CIAA opponents and are two-time defending conference champions. They missed out on a third straight title when the CIAA championship game was cancelled Nov. 16.

At Hampton, Maynor takes over a Football Championship Subdivision program that went 4-8 overall and tied for fifth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at 4-4 this season. Hampton last won the MEAC title, its third in four years, in 2006 under Coach Joe Taylor. Taylor was named the athletics director at Virginia Union last week.

Rose, a former assistant under Taylor and a 1979 graduate of Hampton, has been at Hampton for 23 seasons. He spent 18 seasons as an assistant before taking over when Jerry Holmes was fired after one season as head coach. Holmes had replaced Taylor, who had been fired and later became the head coach at Florida A&M.

Maynor, a 10-year assistant at Fayetteville State before coming to WSSU, was hired by Hayes before the 2010 season. The Rams were coming off a 1-10 finish and an aborted attempt to move to the MEAC and Division I.

Maynor’s first team finished 8-2 in a season highlighted by consecutive road victories against N.C. A&T and N.C. Central. In 2011, the Rams went 13-1 and reached the Division II semifinals.

Maynor, who has an annual salary of $160,000, had two years left on his contract at WSSU.

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