Florida A&M fires coach Earl Holmes during Homecoming week

Florida A&M fired head coach Earl Holmes on Tuesday, four days before the team’s Homecoming game against Norfolk State.

Holmes was named coach in January 2013 and went 3-9 in his first season. The Rattlers started 2014 0-5, but won their last two games.

Athletic director Kellen Winslow said in a statement, "This change was necessary at this time to provide new leadership and direction for our students and to ensure that we can have a new coach in place in time to build a staff and begin recruiting."

Fuller was a member of Florida State’s 1993 national championship team and joined the Rattlers’ coaching staff in 2013 as an assistant coach.

Winslow said a search committee has been formed to help find a new coach.

The firing caught players off guard, as they reportedly marched to Winslow’s office after hearing the news.

"I don’t think anybody expected there to be any kind of disruption during homecoming," Solomon Badger, chairman of FAMU’s Board of Trustees, told the Tallahassee Democrat. "I don’t think anybody expected there to be any kind of disruption during homecoming. I hope the students and alumni and fans still have a homecoming experience. Changing the coach the day before homecoming. I guess I can understand but I can also understand some disgruntlement by players and students."

There was some speculation the players would boycott the Homecoming game, but senior quarterback Damien Fleming told the Democrat the team will take the field on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.