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'YOU'RE FIRED!'- Clark Atlanta University Parts Ways with Coach Willie Slater


Head Coach Slater was thought to bring a different approach to the football program to turn it around. Photo: CAU Athletics
Head Coach Slater was thought to bring a different approach to the football program to turn it around. Photo: CAU Athletics

In a shocking development, Clark Atlanta University (CAU) has officially parted ways with their legendary head football coach, Willie Slater. This announcement came as a seismic shift in the world of HBCU football and college athletics.


The decision to relieve Coach Slater of his duties comes in the wake of a disheartening 0-5 start for the Panthers in the 2023 season. Their struggles reached a climax with a 34-24 loss to Lane College, leaving fans and administrators deeply concerned about the team's performance. This winless streak follows a disappointing 3-7 finish in 2022, intensifying the pressure on Slater and the coaching staff.

The CAU Panthers are off to a 0-5 start to their season. Photo: CAU Football Instagram
The CAU Panthers are off to a 0-5 start to their season. Photo: CAU Football Instagram

Coach Slater, who arrived at CAU in 2022, brought with him an illustrious legacy from his tenure at Tuskegee University. He amassed an impressive 123-47 record from 2006 to 2021 and secured five national titles during that remarkable span. His appointment was met with high expectations, as CAU hoped to turn around its football program.


However, CAU's football fortunes have been in decline for years, with their last winning season dating back to 2008. The Panthers' most recent conference title was achieved via a four-way tie in 1991. Competing in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference of Division II, the university aimed for a resurgence under Coach Slater's leadership.


The official announcement from CAU stated that the decision to part ways with Coach Slater stemmed from "evaluation of unresolved challenges" and a lack of significant progress despite efforts to bring about positive change. Notably, no interim head coach has been named at this time.

CAU is hoping to turn the program around and get back to winning as they did in 2008. Photo: CAU Football Instagram
CAU is hoping to turn the program around and get back to winning as they did in 2008. Photo: CAU Football Instagram

The university expressed gratitude to Coach Slater for his dedication and contributions to CAU's football program. Recognizing his profound impact on the institution, CAU acknowledged the difficult nature of this decision. However, they emphasized their commitment to providing the best opportunities for their students, underlining the basis of their choice.


Looking ahead, the CAU Administration, led by Dr. Jerel Drew, the University's Athletic Director, will soon unveil their strategy for the remainder of the football season. CAU encourages its community to support the scholar-athletes and leadership team as they chart the path forward for the program. The welfare of the students remains paramount, and the university is committed to implementing necessary reforms promptly.


Clark Atlanta University, founded in 1865, holds a prestigious place as the oldest HBCU in the Southern United States. As the Panthers prepare to visit Allen University in their upcoming matchup, the HBCU football landscape is sure to witness a shift in the wake of this significant coaching change.

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