Court of Justice: FAMU Coach Arrested

May 28th, 2007

Florida A&M men’s head basketball coach Mike Gillespie, Sr. was arrested Friday, May 25th on a misdemeanor stalking charge by officers of the Tallahassee (Fla.) Police Department.

In the arrest report issued by the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD), the arresting officers stated that an unnamed woman had complained several times to the TPD since early 2005 about Gillespie’s alleged stalking behavior. She called the TPD again on May 15, 2007, and stated that Gillespie had made unwanted “advances” toward her, but she refused to file formal charges in the hope that Gillespie would stop contacting her. Gillespie had been contacted by the TPD on several occasions over the past two years regarding the women’s allegations and he was warned to stop his behavior.

Police arrested Gillespie Friday morning after the woman called the TPD and stated that Gillespie had tried to contact her at work on Thursday and, again, at home early on Friday. David McCranie, a spokesman for the TPD, stated that the police decided to arrest Gillespie on Friday after he refused to “tell his side of the story.” Gillespie was released by the TPD late Friday afternoon on a $1,000 bond after a judge ordered him not to attempt to contact the woman and required him to wear a GPS-monitored ankle bracelet.

Tim Jansen, Gillespie’s attorney, denied the woman’s charges, stating that, “It didn’t happen.” Jansen claimed that the TPD had acted prematurely by failing to contact and question prior to the arrest. McCranie denied Jansen’s allegations, and stated that Gillespie simply refused to speak with them and that, “This was a clear case of stalking.”

The relationship, if any, between the woman and Gillespie is presently unknown. Gillespie, 56, is married and has two adult children, one of whom, Mike Gillespie, Jr., serves as his top assistant coach.

Florida A&M University (FAMU) released a statement over the weekend in which it stated that the university’s general counsel and president would meet with Gillespie and review the charges against him.

The FAMU men’s basketball team finished the 2006-2007 season with a 21-14 record. The Rattlers finished second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regular season standings and won the MEAC tournament, but lost to Niagara University in the opening round of the 2007 NCAA tournament.

Gillespie, who just completed his sixth season at FAMU, has had a measure of success in turning around the FAMU men’s basketball program. Gillespie has a overall record of 90-94 at the school, but he has led the team to two MEAC championships and two NCAA tournament appearances. In addition to their appearance in this year’s NCAA tournament, the Rattlers defeated Lehigh in the opening round of the 2004 NCAA tournament before losing to #1 Kentucky, 96-76.