Winston-Salem State’s football program is losing running backs coach Natrone Means and defensive line coach Tremayne Henry.
Means, also the associate head coach for interim head coach Robert Massey, will be the offensive coordinator at Fayetteville State, the three-time CIAA Southern Division champion. Henry has moved to Benedict College as defensive coordinator and associate head coach.
“We wish both of those guys good luck and we obviously thank them for what they brought to our program,” Massey said. “In this business guys are going to take opportunities that they think can help them, so that’s just how it works. Both of them want to be head coaches someday, and getting shots as coordinators will help them get there.”
Means, a former NFL Pro Bowl player and former star at North Carolina, had been at WSSU for six seasons. He was co-offensive coordinator for two seasons before moving back to running backs coach last season.
Henry spent the last two seasons at WSSU and before that spent four seasons at Hampton on Connell Maynor’s staff. Henry, a 1989 graduate of Mars Hill, spent eight seasons as the defensive coordinator at St. Aug’s, where he also was recruiting coordinator.
“Those two are quality individuals who will go far, and I thank them for what they brought to the table in their time here,” Massey said.
The Rams are coming off a 4-6 season, their worst record since going 1-10 in 2009 when they were in transition to go to Division I and played a full MEAC schedule. WSSU switched gears and went back to Division II status starting in 2010.
The Rams will begin spring football practice March 18, and Massey is hoping to add two coaches to replace Means and Henry.
“I’m actually going over resumes now,” Massey said. “We’ve got coaches here who can handle the duties of Coach Means and Coach Henry so we’ll be fine.”
Massey’s staff is left with just three full-time assistants: Lawrence Kirshaw (offensive coordinator), Ryan McManus (quarterbacks coach) and Marvin Bohannon Jr., the linebackers coach. McManus is also the new coach for the men’s golf team that will begin its season this week.
“Coach McManus will be juggling his time between the golf team and our practices but he’ll make it work,” Massey said. “We plan to have a great, competitive spring where guys are going to have to show us something if they want to play in the fall. I’m looking forward to spring practice because all jobs are open and the guys know it.”
The rivalry between Fayetteville State and WSSU is a good one, and Means in Fayetteville will make it even more interesting.
“We know that to get back to that CIAA championship game we have to get through Fayetteville State," Massey said. "That’s why this spring practice is so important to us.”