The last time Coach Rod Broadway received a lot of media attention, it was focused on him leaving Grambling for either Florida A&M University or Duke University. While many “insiders” claimed that Broadway was indeed leaving, Broadway insists that he never thought about leaving.”I like it here,” he said. “I tried to tell people all along, but no one was listening to what I was saying. I enjoy it here. You have a good foundation here and you can win here.
“I didn’t go looking for a job,” he continued. “I didn’t call anybody about a job. I tried to tell them all along that I have a good job.”
Broadway’s hard work paid off with an 8-4 season where he nearly bested University of Louisiana at Monroe in the first-ever contest between the two schools. Even though victory was within grasp at ULM, Broadway wouldn’t say that GSU would beat a Division I school anytime school.
“When you look at it, it’s hard for Div. I teams to lose,” he explained. “Every once in a while, you’ll have an Appalachian State beating (University of) Michigan. As a rule, Div. I doesn’t lose to Div. I-AA team. It would be an upset if we beat any Div. I team. They have more resources.”
With over 20 years of coaching experience, the North Carolina native has been a part of big, resurging teams. Broadway has coached alongside coaching great Steve Spurrier, winning several championships under his wing. Then, in 2003, he started at North Carolina Central, winning two CIAA Conference Championships.
Afterwards, of course, Broadway landed a job at GSU, a place where the legendary Coach Eddie Robinson coached.
“It’s an honor to be coaching here,” he said. “It’s a big job. I’ve said it time and time again; Coach Rob was ahead of his time.”
There was once a time that Coach Rob and Broadway met. As the University of Florida was preparing for the Orange Bowl in 1998, there was a dinner held and Coach Rob was one of the guests.
“I think everybody enjoyed meeting him,” he said, recalling the event. “They had an opportunity to sit down and talk with him. It was a great honor.”
There was no football talk amongst the coaches. However, Broadway has known sixth grade that he wanted to be a coach.
“I decided then I wanted to be a coach because of my sixth grade basketball and football coach,” he recalled. “I just wanted the opportunity to really help people. I wanted to be a difference maker.”
To this day, Broadway still receives letters from his former players, informing him that a difference was indeed made in their life. Broadway noted that 13 percent of drug users were African American.
“We have some issues with being Black, and these young men need someone to guide them,” he said. “I want to do a good job to help them.”
Despite the hard work that Broadway and his coaching staff have put into the football team, there is still some criticism that floats around.
“I tell (critics) I just try to win football games,” he said. “There are different ways to do the same things.”
Much of the criticism comes from the stark contrast of Spears’ offense. With Spears’ offense, there were pass plays galore. However, Broadway takes a more balanced approach to the game, something that has made the G-Men a dual threat.
“Some of the criticism you hear, if you compare the numbers, their numbers are similar to our numbers,” Broadway said.
Even with the current success, Broadway still sees a long way to go for the G-Men, even as the Black and Gold game looms this Saturday.
“We have a lot of work to do between now and (next season),” he stated. “We still have some football team fundamentals. That’s just the final step in our season this year. We practice everyday and we work hard every day to become a better football team.