Marvin “Hut” Bohannon is coming home to Winston-Salem State.
Bohannon, a Winston-Salem native and North Forsyth graduate, has been added to Coach Robert Massey’s football staff at WSSU. Bohannon will be the linebackers coach, and will be the lone coach on staff who is a WSSU graduate.
Massey, who is the interim head coach of the Rams, is looking forward to what Bohannon can bring to the program. Bohannon will start on Aug. 1.
“He’s a young, energetic guy, but he has experience, and we love the fact that he’s a graduate,” Massey said. “We’re excited to bring him on board as we get this season cranked up.”
Bohannon, who graduated from WSSU in 2010, also earned a masters degree from Northeastern University, where he’s been an assistant coach for the last five seasons.
“I’m truly excited about this opportunity and coming back to Winston-Salem State where it shaped and molded me into a man,” said Bohannon, who played his final season in 2010 when the program went 8-2 under first-year coach Connell Maynor.
Bohannon, a hard-hitting defensive back who was given the nickname of ‘Hut’ by his grandfather, is proud of the fact that he helped in that first season with Maynor. That season set the tone for reaching the Division II national championship game two years later.
After finishing at WSSU, Bohannon played two years of arena football before transitioning into coaching.
He first helped out at his alma mater, North Forsyth, for a season before getting into college coaching at Ellsworth Community College.
Bohannon’s coaching experience is seven years long, but it’s also his playing experience that should help the young linebackers at WSSU. When he arrived at WSSU, he slacked off in his studies and became ineligible but started buckling down in the classroom and ended up on the Dean’s List at WSSU. He also endured the forgettable 1-10 season in 2009, when the school announced it was abandoning its drive to Division I and instead stayed at the Division II level. Bohannon stuck around for his senior season at WSSU with Maynor and enjoyed helping turn the program around.
“I have seen a lot,” Bohannon said with a laugh. “From the fall, to the rise and everything in between, but I enjoyed that ride because it taught me so much.”
The Rams are coming off a 5-4 season and haven’t been to the CIAA championship game for the last two seasons. Bohannon, who started 41 games in his career with the Rams, had 113 career tackles with three interceptions and three forced fumbles.
When he played in college and for two years of professional football, he wore long dreadlocks.
“Those are gone,” he said about dreadlocks. “Once I got into coaching, I cut them off.”
The Rams will be very young at linebacker this season after the graduation of leading tackler Pat Green (also a North Forsyth graduate) and Jayron Rankin. Only Ta’Shaun Taylor, who was a freshman last season, saw extensive playing time at linebacker.
Bohannon says being a part of the Winston-Salem community is something he believes in because it’s where he grew up.
“I will definitely let the guys know about not making mistakes and doing the right thing because, trust me, I was right there in their shoes more than 10 years ago and I made mistakes,” Bohannon said. “I take that part seriously, and I think it will help that I’ve played at Winston-Salem State and grew up here.”
In 2010, he earned a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from WSSU, and in 2015 he earned a masters degree in health and kinesiology from Northeastern State.
“I guess my biggest memory of playing at WSSU was having my family and friends close by to watch me play,” Bohannon said. “Even if we lost games or whatever, I took pride in playing in my hometown. So I’ve kind of come full circle.”
The Rams report for camp on Aug. 7 and have their first practice Aug. 9.