Clark Atlanta University has found their new head football coach after previous head coach Willie Slater was fired last Monday. Coach Richard Moncrief was previously the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Panthers.
As a way for Moncrief to connect with the student body at CAU, he and the Clark Atlanta athletic department are beginning to host ‘Coffee with Moncrief’, a question and answer session that will take place once a week.
Moncrief, who played quarterback at Clemson University from 1990 to 1993, has spent time at multiple institutions in multiple divisions throughout his coaching career. His coaching career ranges from high school to Division one institutions such as Alabama State University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“All of those experiences taught me something, in themselves, that was very unique. The game is bigger than just football, it is about relationships,” Coach Moncrief shared during the Q&A.
In most of his previous stops he served as an assistant coach, offensive coordinator and/or quarterback coach. However, this is not his first rodeo at CAU. Coach Moncrief first served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2015 through 2018. During that initial stint he coached former quarterback Jonathan McCrary, the 2016 SIAC Newcomer of the Year.
The Panthers are having a rough season as they are still looking to win their first game, plus the team has been losing key players due to injuries. How is Coach Moncrief looking to finish the season in the win column? He is adopting a popular mindset to implement in the team’s game plan every week.
“We want to have a 1 and 0 mindset. It is easy to look down the road when you start talking about football, but the focus needs to be right now, this moment.” He continued, “Between those two hours, inside the lines, if [the team] can maintain their focus and give maximum effort, we can take care of what we have to do week by week.”
Later in the Q&A, Coach Moncrief paid his respects to Coach Slater, his legacy, and talked about what he has learned from Coach Slater.
“Coach Slater is a legendary SIAC coach. His record is unmatched by anyone who has coached in this conference. He brought a level of toughness and an old school hard nose mentality that I am definitely going to try to implement into my coaching style.” He added, “I am forever grateful for him, simply because he gave me an opportunity to learn and coach under his leadership.”
The Panthers’ (0-7 overall, 0-5 in SIAC) playoff chances are slim, but Moncrief has a plan to help the team stay optimistic.
“Football is a game. When you have a game what is your objective? To play. When you play something, you are supposed to have fun. Anytime we have an opportunity to go out on the grass, we understand how to compartmentalize things. Yesterday may have been a bad day, but we look forward to the next day to get out there and do what we love.”
The Panthers have four games remaining in the season, including homecoming against Central State University on Saturday, October 21, and the ‘Battle of the AUC,’ against Morehouse College on Saturday, November 1.