Reed, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019, becomes the latest high-profile former athlete to coach in the HBCU ranks.
A historically Black university located in Daytona Beach, Florida, Bethune-Cookman is an FCS program. It won six MEAC championships since 2000 but has struggled since joining the SWAC in 2021.
Its previous coach, Terry Sims, was fired in late November after going 2-9 in back-to-back seasons. The Wildcats’ athletic director is Reggie Theus, the longtime NBA player and former Sacramento Kings coach. Theus is also Bethune-Cookman’s head men’s basketball coach.
Bethune-Cookman’s news release announcing that Reed had “entered an agreement in principle … to be its 16th head football coach” was scant on details.
Reed, 44, has spent the past three seasons in a support staff role at his alma mater, Miami, most recently as a senior football adviser under head coach Mario Cristobal.
“We are excited to hear that Ed has been named the head football coach at Bethune-Cookman,” Miami athletic director Dan Radakovich said. “Ed is one of the best to ever wear a Miami Hurricanes uniform and he has served as a great mentor to our student-athletes the past three years. He will do a tremendous job leading the Wildcats program and the entire Miami family wishes him all the best.”
Before his time on the Miami staff, Reed was an assistant defensive backs coach with the Buffalo Bills in 2016.
Reed, who is from Louisiana, was part of Miami’s 2001 national championship team.
He was drafted in the first round by the Ravens in 2002 and led the league in interceptions three times. He holds the NFL record for interception return yards.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.