Faculty coach

The UNC Charlotte 49er Football Faculty Coach program introduces UNC Charlotte faculty members to the 49er football program, its coaches, and its players. The program was initiated with the inaugural 2013 Green and White Spring game at McColl-Richardson Field.


2013 Green and White Spring game


For the 2017-18 football season, faculty will be hosted for the six home games:


Saturday, September 16

Saturday, September 23

Saturday, October 7

Saturday, October 21

Saturday, November 11

Saturday, November 25



Georgia State



Middle Tennessee

Florida Atlantic

  Kickoff time

6 pm

6 pm

6 pm

6:30 pm

2 pm

2 pm

Faculty coach activities

Each week, two faculty coaches are selected. The game week activities include:


  • team/position meetings in Judy Rose Center from 4:30-5:30 pm
  • facility tour
  • practice from 6-8 pm


  • team dinner – faculty coaches and family are welcome


  • attend game!

It is expected that faculty coaches will be available to attend all functions.


Roy Fielding and Camina Davis


Anita Blanchard and Melanie Harris


Feedback from faculty coaches

Roy Fielding:

To see so many former students excited about UNC Charlotte and excited about being back on campus and loving it – Unbelievable! To be able to meet such a fine group of people from Coach Lambert, the other coaches, the players, the athletic trainers, the support staff – Unforgettable! Being on the sideline and seeing and feeling the energy from the crowd, players, coaches, and even the special guests such as the Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory, Jerry Richardson, and Hugh McColl and being able to talk with each them and thanking them for the support of OUR university does not happen but maybe once in a lifetime!

  • New Niner clothing for the game – $250
  • Waiting 35 years for this day – worth it
  • Being Faculty Coach for the first game in UNC Charlotte history – priceless
  • Being Faculty Coach for the first game in UNC Charlotte history and winning – a dream come true.


Camina Davis:

The faculty football coach experience was AWESOME. Napoleon did a great job organizing the week’s activities. Matt gave me the million dollar facility tour and answered all of my questions. I was greeted by every coach and they called me by name. Coach Gary welcomed me into the running back team meeting and asked if I had questions along the way. A running back saw me the next day and greeted me with a hug. Coach Adams gave me permission to “get hype” during the game. Coach Lambert even met me on Friday night to ensure that I had everything for the football game. They accepted my request to share this experience with a Public Health Science (PHS) major and PHS faculty. As an alumnus and football fan, I was very excited about being selected as one of the first faculty football coaches.

Game day…impeccable 49er gear, tailgating with alumni, ecstatic students, picture with Chancellor Dubois, tunnel smoke, 49er football players, more tunnel smoke, jumping up & down on the sideline (almost crossing the field line during the first touchdown–oops), touchdown, 2-point conversion, more touchdowns, field goals, an undefeated 49er football team, and sharing this experience with a fellow College of Health & Human Services (CHHS) faculty, Roy Fielding, … in a word…Exhilarating! Thank you for implementing an excellent program that will encourage a personal connection between the faculty, football team, and university community.


Claude Hargrove:

Tuesday’s meeting exceeded my expectations, from the coaches to the players to the facilities. I was particularly happy that charter is emphasized along with the genuine care for the players. This does not look like a first year program, but an established one. I am proud to be connected to this football team.


Richard Buttimer:

The faculty coach experience was really amazing. It was fantastic to get to interact directly with players at the Tuesday afternoon practice, and to see the process they go through as they prepare for the week’s game.  I was deeply impressed by the degree to which all members of the coaching staff were dedicated not only to helping the players succeed on the football field  but in academics, and the degree to which they had formed very close mentor relationships with the players. Everybody was genuinely warm and welcoming to me – it was just a great experience.


Beth Whitaker:

I’d like to thank Coach Lambert, Coach Sykes, and everyone else associated with the 49ers Football program for giving me and my family the opportunity to get to know the team last week. I enjoyed learning more about the football program and realized pretty quickly during the outside linebackers position meeting that football players should get credit for foreign language. We had field passes before the game and my kids had fun interacting with players and coaches (my two-year-old also stole a sip of water from one player’s water bottle—oops!). The game itself was very exciting and included the most exciting comeback in 49ers history. The faculty coach program is a great way to get faculty more involved and help us appreciate what players experience; Coach Sykes also talked about having coaches come to our classes in the spring, which sounds like a very promising way to continue to build connections between academics and athletics at UNC Charlotte.


Steve Sabol:

Simply, it was a great opportunity and the staff and players were wonderful. Coach Lambert took a lot of time to spend with us, which was unexpected. Moreover Coach Sykes and Adams were great. It is a great opportunity to watch, listen, and learn…and not just for the football fan but any faculty member. Good people. These folks represent the university, get far more press than folks in History or any other field, they are a “public face” to the institution, so it is great to see them doing it right.


Anita Blanchard:

Being the guest faculty coach for our first football homecoming game was one of the highlights of my time as a professor here at UNC Charlotte. I also am happy to report that my children think I’m pretty special, too, for “being a football coach” and that they think UNC Charlotte is a really cool place. One of the surprising things for me to learn was how hard our coaches and players work during the football season. The students are focused on their classes and also on being top notch athletes. I had no idea how much time these student athletes have to work during the season to play well. Finally, I was so impressed with the team’s culture. These are players who appear to really like each other and their coaches off the field, who were extremely polite and considerate to my family and me, and who seem dedicated to making football at UNC Charlotte and important and tradition-filled part of our school culture. What a great experience! I encourage everyone to attend a football game. It’s really a lot fun!


Melanie Harris:

I have only great things to say about the experience. Initially, even though I was excited, I expected to feel out of place and to not have much interaction with the coaches/players. It was not that way at all. From the moment I walked into the Judy Rose Center for the tour and practice I was made to feel welcome by everyone. I enjoy football so it was a treat to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the players and coaches prepare for an upcoming game. And being on the field for the pre-game activities was a blast. More importantly, through this experience I gained a better appreciation for the amount of work it requires of the student/athlete. Lastly, my husband and I were quite impressed with how courteous the players were. We enjoyed our dinner conversation and the time we spent with the guys.


Valentina Cecchi:

I just wanted to say thank you! It was a wonderful experience to spend time with the team on Friday and Saturday and learn more about what you do. Exciting game by the way!


The faculty coach experience was AMAZING! We have an amazing group of student athletes and coaching staff.    It was an experience that I will never forget. I have been on this campus for 25 years and have waited a long time for the chance to attend a 49ers football game.


Bridgette Sanders:

The coaching staff were incredible, friendly, and inviting. I never expected the hospitality that I received from the coaches and athletes. Everyone was wonderful and answered the questions that I had. The tour of the Judy Rose Center was awesome. It was a great to see the behind-the-scene areas that are so important to the football players and coaches. It is a top notch facility to say the least. I was able to attend a team and position meeting. I was awed by how much time and energy goes into being a student athlete and how hard the coaches work to make sure the athletes are ready for the game. I highly recommend the faculty coach program to anyone who enjoys the game of football. It was really fun and exciting!


Shawn Long:

Thank you so much for my selection as the Football Faculty coach.  I had an incredible time and enjoyed every single minute of the experience.


Faculty coach registration form

The UNC Charlotte 49er Football Faculty Coach program is for UNC Charlotte faculty only. Faculty status will be confirmed prior to selection. Registrations will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that registration implies your willingness to participate in all activities. If your availability changes, please contact tony.schmitz@uncc.edu to remove your name from consideration.