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Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU Football: NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver, Boca resident Cris Carter joins football staff

Members of the football team and athletics spoke on Carter’s new role in the football program as executive director of player engagement.
FAU Athletics
FAU head coach Tom Herman (left) and Cris Carter (right) posing with a commemorative Vikings jersey Carter presented to Herman in front of the team during practice.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Florida Atlantic Owls football team (4-8, 3-5 AAC) and FAU Athletics named former National Football League (NFL) wide receiver and Hall of Famer Cris Carter as the new executive director of player engagement for the football program.

“We are thrilled and very excited to welcome Cris Carter to the Florida Atlantic football family,” said head coach Tom Herman in a statement by FAU Athletics on Wednesday, Nov. 15. “His knowledge and experience will help our program immensely through mentoring our players, providing an NFL mindset and logic to decision making, and also making a huge impact on our #TriCountyTakeover recruiting.”

Carter, who played 16 seasons in the NFL, has a prior relationship with FAU. His son, Duron, played for FAU in 2012 as a wide receiver during his senior year.

Tess Palmateer, the director of athlete mental health and performance, works out with Carter. She encouraged Herman to bring in Carter as a speaker at a staff meeting. 

“I know Cris is really involved with the [NFL], so talking to teams and I think sharing a little about his story and what it takes to be that level of excellence was something that we were looking for, kind of a source of inspiration as well as motivation,” said Palmateer.

Herman and Carter both have a connection to Ohio State University, as Herman was an offensive coordinator back in 2014 and Carter played for the Buckeyes from 1984 to 1986. Herman spoke highly of Carter at a Nov. 20 press conference. 

“I think it’s a godsend. He came to speak to our team and was literally awe inspiring when he did it,” said Herman. “After that we spoke and we were kind of on the same page immediately, like I wanted to use him more than just a guest speaker. I wanted him to be embedded in our program…It’s a match made in heaven.”

Herman added how Carter has lived in Boca Raton for around 30 years. He said that Carter’s 16 years of NFL experience is not something many coaches can offer.

“He’s able to mentor, guide, counsel our players in a way that even us as coaches just can’t because he can speak to them differently,” said Herman.

Carter is most well-known for playing for the Minnesota Vikings from 1990 to 2001. He recorded 12,383 receiving yards and 130 receiving touchdowns.

Carter was “very shocked” when he got the call from Herman to join the staff as the executive director of player engagement. Carter said he and Herman created the job title after conversing for a while.

“What our players are getting is my unique experience in travel in sports that has kind of tapped into everything that they’ll experience in sports, and trying to make them have a unique journey and try the system in their journey,” said Carter.

Carter played for Ohio State University for three years, the NFL for 16 years, NFL broadcasting for 18 years and then joined the league office for three years.

“In the real world, no one is paying your bills, no one is waking you up, no one is giving you an itinerary, so, trying to overcome some of the things as a student-athlete that are not real once you leave and your eligibility is done,” said Carter.

Carter complimented Herman’s efforts and accomplishments thus far and said he believes that he was hired because he and Herman have the same vision for FAU Football.

“I think the timing is perfect,” said Carter. “I trust Coach Herman, and I trust what he’s doing. I know what he’s teaching. I know he is training these kids the right way. I really believe in that and I believe that’s the biggest reason why I joined the staff is because I believe in the direction and what they’re trying to put in the kids on a daily basis.”

Carter predicts college football teams will soon hire former NFL players like Colorado University head coach and NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to bring in that experience from playing in the pros.

“I can guarantee that people are going to start adding personnel to their football operations from an unconventional way,” said Carter. “If you’re trying to train young people, why wouldn’t you get people with a wealth of experience in that training? I believe that college football in the next three or four years will be totally turned upside down as far as some of the things and the people that they would look for to try to give their student-athletes an advantage.”

FAU Athletic Director Brian White says Athletics is excited for Carter to join the staff. 

“Cris will be a tremendous resource for our football student-athletes and Coach Herman’s program,” wrote White in a statement. “His Hall of Fame resume speaks for itself and we are thrilled to have him join our team.”

Maddox Greenberg is the Sports Editor for the University Press. Email [email protected] or DM via Twitter @MaddoxGreenberg and Instagram @maddoxblade04 for information regarding this or other stories

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Maddox Greenberg
Maddox Greenberg, Sports Editor
Maddox started writing sports for the UP in Summer 2022 with the intention of improving his journalistic writing. He is a sophomore majoring in multimedia journalism and plans on becoming a sports broadcaster. He is a broadcaster for FAU Owl Radio.

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