FAMU Fires Mike Gillespie
Florida A&M University announced on Tuesday, August 14th that men’s head basketball coach Mike Gillespie was immediately relieved of his duties. Gillespie had been placed on paid administrative leave by Florida A&M in May after his arrest for misdemeanor stalking of a former girlfriend. Gillespie was arrested on May 25th after he was observed driving past his former girlfriend’s house after having received repeated warnings from the Tallahassee Police Department for making several unwanted visits to her home and workplace. Gillespie, who is married, has been on paid administrative leave since his arrest.
University president James Ammons said in a statement released by Florida A&M on Tuesday that “This employment action is in the best interest of the Men’s Basketball Program and the University.” While Gillespie’s termination is effectively immediately, the University indicated that he will remain on paid administrative leave through November 2nd. Athletic Director Nelson Townsend stated that Florida A&M will immediately form a committee to hire a new coach “early in the fall.” The school did not indicate what would happen to Gillespie’s assistant coaches, including his son Mike Gillespie, Jr., who served as his father’s top assistant.
Florida state prosecutor Gina Cappleman has stated that she intends to offer Gillespie probation with certain currently unspecified conditions at a case management hearing scheduled to be heard on August 29th. Gillespie has been wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet as a condition of his release from custody in May.
During his six seasons with the school, Florida A&M compiled a record of 60-64, won two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships, and made two NCAA tournament appearances in 2004 and 2007. This past season he led the Rattlers to their first 20-win season since 1989-1990. Prior to his tenure at Florida A&M, Gillespie was the head coach of a community college in Tallahassee and Division II power St. Leo’s College (Fla.).