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Rattlers' Hall of Fame baseball manager Joe Durant passes away

Rattlers' Hall of Fame baseball manager Joe Durant passes away
Posted at 2:29 PM, Mar 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-06 14:29:18-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (famuathletics.com) — Rattler Nation has lost a member of the FAMUly as Hall of Fame baseball manager Joe Durant passed away.

"We are saddened to lose a member of the FAMUly and send our deepest condolences to the Durant family," said director of athletics, Kortne Gosha. "Joe was instrumental to the success of the Rattlers in the early '90s as he managed three MEAC Championship winning teams. We ask that Rattler Nation keep the Lang family in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Durant was the longest-tenured and winningest manager in FAMU baseball history, with 363 wins in 17 seasons. Durant took over for the Rattlers in 1991, in which the Rattlers won 29 games and the MEAC Championship. Durant led the Rattlers to win three MEAC Championships in his first four seasons at the helm (1991, 1992, 1994). Brown led the Rattlers to 12 20+ win seasons, including two 29-win seasons (1991 and 2003).

Before becoming the manager at Florida A&M, Durant played for Coach Costa Kittles and with MLB Hall of Famer Andre "Hawk" Dawson in the early '70s. Durant was the first African-American to serve on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee from 1999-2002.

"He was a good guy, a good coach," said Florida A&M baseball manager Jamey Shouppe. "He's going to be missed, and we are praying for his family."

Brett Richardson played for Durant in the early 1990s and later coached with him, describing Durant as a father figure after his father passed in 2000. Richardson said Durant was a knowledgeable coach that stressed preparation and fundamentals.

"He was one of those coaches who didn't say much during a game – unless he had to," said Richardson, the former FAMU and Alcorn head coach who returned this season as an assistant. "He wanted guys to relax and go out and play and not worry about looking over their shoulders. He's just a great guy who is going to be sorely, sorely missed."

Funeral arrangements are pending.