TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow resigned as Florida A&M University's athletic director eight months after taking over the program, the school announced Monday.

Winslow upset students and alumni after firing football coach Earl Holmes during homecoming week. Holmes took over the team for the final two games of the 2012 season and had an overall 6-16 record. Winslow later issued an apology for the way he handled the firing.

University President Elmira Mangum said Winslow turned in his resignation over the weekend. Mangum acknowledged the criticism during a news conference Monday.

"Whatever your expressions of Mr. Winslow may have been -- and I've had quite a few comments -- I ask you to take the moral high ground and wish him well," she said.

Winslow was an All-American tight end at tMissouri before being drafted with the No. 13 pick in the 1979 NFL draft. He was a five-time Pro Bowl tight end with the San Diego Chargers and is one of three NFL players to have five touchdown receptions in a game. He still holds the Chargers record for most receptions in a season.

Mangum named Nelson Townsend as the interim athletic director. Townsend has 40 years of experience in athletics and has twice served as FAMU athletic director. He was on the search committee to replace Holmes and now will be responsible for picking the new football coach.