ATLANTA – The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl between the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference affiliated North Carolina A&T and Southwestern Athletic Conference Alcorn State starts Saturday but the Friday afternoon press conferences brought up good points early.
The Aggies come into the game as the MEAC champions and also exited the season with a 9-2 record. But unlike the previous three times that NCAT has participated in the big show in Atlanta, the Aggies have a new coach in the mix in Sam Washington.
Washington isn’t new to NCAT’s fold for 2018, the former assistant coach enters this year’s bowl game motivated to win. Washington spoke of the transition from assistant to head coach which included learning how to manage people.
Everything has been in Washington’s court for this year, a program that is proven to win and has a tradition of winning as well. However, that’s also brought some extra motivation into the mix for the Aggie head coach.
“I’m motivated to win because I’m a winner,” Washington said confidently during the press conference. “I just like to win and just like most of you, no one likes to lose. I’ve been in this business for a very long time. I did inherit a very good football team. And I think with that being said, the expectations are even higher.
“It wasn’t an if or would’ve or could, I had to perform,” he continued. “I just grateful I had the opportunity and I’m grateful for the university for believing in me.”
The Aggies have eight players that hail from Georgia while Alcorn has another three bringing the total Peach State native count to 11.
Washington says that he wishes he could have more football players from this area as well.
“It’s so many football players around here it’s crazy,” Washington said. “I wish we could get a few more but we have been successful getting two or three per year and we hope to continue to do so.”