Ex-Ravens star Ed Reed set to become new Bethune-Cookman football coach

Ed Reed is set to be Bethune-Cookman’s new football coach.

The HBCU said Tuesday that it had agreed in principle for the Pro Football Hall of Famer to take over the program. Reed, a Florida native, is currently the chief of staff at Miami where he starred from 1998-2001.

Reed, 44, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019 in his first year on the ballot. He had an illustrious professional career and spent all but one of his 12 NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

Reed emerged as the best safety in the league in his time with the Ravens and redefined what a ballhawking safety was like in modern football. He led the league in interceptions three times, recording 64 picks across 174 career games. Reed also returned seven of those interceptions for touchdowns, including multiple pick-sixes of over 100 yards.

Reed got into coaching in 2016 when he was the defensive backs coach for the Buffalo Bills. He was hired as an advisor by former Miami coach Manny Diaz in 2020 and stayed in his chief of staff role after the school hired Mario Cristobal ahead of the 2022 season.

The FCS school's hire of Reed follows the blueprint Jackson State set when it hired Deion Sanders. While JSU’s hire of Sanders was initially met with some skepticism, it turned out to be great move for both the school and Sanders. Jackson State's profile rose significantly and it became a force on the recruiting trail — it landed top 2021 recruit Travis Hunter — and that success turned into results on the field. Jackson State had an undefeated regular season in 2022 and Sanders is now the new coach at Colorado.

Much like Sanders did at Jackson State, Reed will have a big rebuilding project on his hands at fellow SWAC member Bethune-Cookman. The Wildcats went 2-9 in 2022 and their only wins came over Grambling State and Mississippi Valley State — teams that combined for five wins. Sanders’ Jackson State program beat Bethune-Cookman 48-8 and Miami opened its season with an easy 70-13 win over the Wildcats in a buy game scheduled in part to help subsidize the Wildcats' athletic budget.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 03: Miami chief of staff Ed Reed stands on the field before the start of the college football game between the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the University of Miami Hurricanes on September 3, 2022 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Miami legend Ed Reed is set to be the new coach at Bethune Cookman. (Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)