Rattlers Highlights

NCAA Division: Division I
Conference: Southwestern Athletic Conference
Past Conferences: Independent. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
City: Tallahassee

Arena: Al Lawson Center
NCAA Tournaments: 3
National Championships: None
Conference Titles: 4

Team History

The Florida A&M Rattlers started as Independents before moving to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 1979. The Rattlers finished with a 7-22 overall record in their first season in the MEAC under Josh Giles. The Rattlers compiled a 41-71 overall record under Giles in his four-year stint.

Willie Booker took over the head coaching job at FAMU for the 1984-1985 season. The Rattlers didn’t have a winning season under Booker until the 1987-1988 season. They finished with a 22-8 overall record. They were led by senior guard Aldwin Ware and senior forward Reggie Henry. The two averaged nearly a combined 40 points per game. As a team, they averaged 82 points per game and kept their opponents under 76 points per game.

The Rattlers went on to have four straight winning seasons. The 1999-1991 season ended with the Rattlers winning the MEAC Tournament and being crowned champions for the first time in program history. The Rattlers finished with a 10-18 record in Booker’s final year. He ended his career at FAMU with a 137-125 overall record.

The rest of the 90s were abysmal for the Rattlers. They never won more than 12 games. The 1993-1996 season was especially bad for the Rattlers. They had a combined record of 25-83 through those four seasons. The Rattlers finally finished with a winning record during the 2002-2003 season under head coach Mike Gillespie.

NCAA Tournament for the Rattlers

The 2003-2004 season was good for the Rattlers. Despite finishing with a 15-17 overall record, the Rattlers won the MEAC Tournament and made the NCAA Tournament. It was the second time in school history that they won the MEAC and made the tournament in the same season.

The Rattlers won the MEAC tournament and made the NCAA Tournament yet again in the 2006-2007 season. They shot 45 percent from the field and shot 36 percent from beyond the arc. It would be Gillespie’s final season at the helm. He finished with a 90-94 overall record.

Eugene Harris and Clemon Johnson were the next two coaches for the Rattlers. Harris was at the helm from 2007-2011 and Johnson from 2011-2014. The Rattlers didn’t win a conference championship or finish with a record over .500 during each of their tenures.

Byron Samuels coached the Rattlers to a 17-71 record through three seasons as the Rattlers’ coach. The Rattlers never posted a winning record under Samuels from 2014-2017.

Robert McCullum has been the current coach at FAMU since 2017. The Rattlers posted a 41-71 through his first four seasons at the helm. The Rattlers moved to the Southwestern Athletic Conference after the 2020-2021 season.

All-Time Records (CBB)

  • Points Scored

    • DeLon Turner: 1,795
    • Reginald Finney: 1,638
    • Leonard King: 1,618
    • Terry Giles: 1,470
    • MJ Randolph: 1,414
  • Rebounds

    • DeLon Turner: 974
    • Mike Toomer: 824
    • Jerome James: 743
    • Yannick Crowder: 718
    • Larry Jackson: 624
  • Assists

    • Terry Giles: 603
    • Joe Ballard: 410
    • Reginald Finney: 352
    • MJ Randolph: 312
    • Aldwin Ware: 310


What Is the Highest Win Total in Program History?

The 1987-1988 Rattlers put up 22 wins. They also finished with an 11-5 conference record.

What Was the Worst Season in Program History?

The 2014-2015 Rattlers won just two games while losing 27. They were outscored by nearly 20 points per game. Additionally, they shot under 30 percent from beyond the arc and under 65 percent from the free-throw line.

How Many NCAA Tournaments Have the Rattlers Made?

The Rattlers have made the NCAA Tournament three times in program history. All three times came when the Rattlers were a part of the MEAC.

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