Former FAMU Head Baseball Coach to the helm, after 17 years
Florida A&M University Athletics announced Thursday the appointment of Robert Lucas as the school’s head baseball coach.
He replaces Joe Durant, 58, who will be reassigned to administrative duties within the athletic department after serving as head coach from 1991 to 2007.
“I have enjoyed my time as head baseball coach at Florida A&M. We accomplished some great things here at FAMU and I wish Coach (Bob) Lucas the best. He is a good coach and knows the game of baseball. I should know, he coached me. But at this
time I have some things that take more priority over baseball, including my health and my family,” said Durant.
In Durant’s 17-year career as skipper of the Rattlers, he garnered a career record of 363-486, winning three Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships (1991, 1992, 1994). His teams made 11 appearances in the MEAC Baseball Tournament finals in his career.
Durant was also the first African-American to be named to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. He served as a committee member from 1999-2002.
Lucas, 63, who served last season as Associate Head Coach to Durant, returns to the role of head baseball coach, a position he held from 1986 to 1991 at FAMU.
“Coach (Joe) Durant has done a great job as head baseball coach here at Florida A&M and I would to thank Mr. Townsend for giving me the opportunity to coach again. We have a good nucleus of players returning for the 2008 season and I can’t wait for fall workouts,” said Lucas.
During Lucas’ career has head coach of the Rattlers, he compiled a record of 96-90-1, while leading FAMU to three MEAC Championships (1987,1988, 1990).
For the past 17 seasons (1990-2006), Lucas served as a minority College scout for the Atlanta Braves. In addition, he is also the younger brother of the late Bill Lucas, who was the first African-American general manager in major league baseball for the Braves.
Athletic Director Nelson Townsend said of the move on Thursday: “Coach (Joe) Durant did a marvelous job during his tenure and the university is grateful for his service. We just felt the need to go into a different direction with the baseball program.”
“Coach (Robert) Lucas enjoyed a great run of success when he served here previously and we are confident that he can rekindle that measure of success again,” Townsend concluded.