The Ralph C. Robinson Coach of the Year Award

Willie Slater, SIAC Coach of the Year in 2007, was appointed head football coach at Tuskegee University on January 17, 2006. Slater has 30 seasons of coaching experience, including 24 years at the collegiate level. Eighteen were as an offensive coordinator.

The Coffeeville, Alabama native has coached at Temple University, 2004-2005; Jacksonville State University, Jacksonsville, Alabama, 2000-2003; the Univesity of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama,1992-1999; the University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama, 1991-1992; and Troy University,Troy, Alabama, 1983-1990. Slater was offensive coordinator for the 1A Temple Owls of Philadelphia, PA., in 2005.

A five-time NCAA Division II National Assistant Coach of the Year, he has five Division III national championship rings. Slater joined the Tuskegee staff after having served as the offensive coordinator at Temple under Bill Wallace in 2005 and Jacksonvillle State under Jack Crowe from 2000 to 2003. JSU won the Ohio Valley Conference title with a 7-1(8-4 overall) record in 2003. Prior to his stay with the Gamecocks, he worked as offensive coordinator at North Alabama for eight years(1992-1999), including six seasons under Wallace(1992-1997). During his stay in Florence, Alabama, the Lions qualified for the NCAA playoffs five times and won three consecutive national championships from 1993-95. Slater was named the Divisions II National Assistant Coach of the Year in each of UNA's title seasons. In 1993, North Alabama had the country's top rushing offense, gaining 317.5 yards per contest.

Slater's first full-time position at the collegiate level was at Troy State, where he served as running back coach under Chan Gailey from 1983-1984. Slater began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater, West Alabama, in 1978 and earned a bachelor of science degree in business education at the university in 1979. He also coached at the high school level, first at Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, Alabama (1979-1980) before moving to T.R. Miller High School in Brewton, Alabama (1981-82).

During a stellar-24-year career of working with programs in Divisions I-A, I-AA and II, Slater has had the pleasure of coaching numerous players who have taken those skills to the NFL - playing for teams such as the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, and several other teams.

During his first season as head coach, Slater propelled the Tuskegee Golden Tigers to a 10-2 record in 2006 and an SIAC title. He is the first first-year Tuskegee coach to win the conference championship and 10 games in an inaugural season. He followed the 2006 season with a perfect 12-0 record in 2007, capturing another SIAC title and the Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College National Championship.