A new era has dawned in the HBCU sports realm.
Tennessee State has appointed former Ohio State and Tennessee Titans great Eddie George as its next football coach, the school announced Tuesday.
According to the report, coach Rod Reed told his team on Saturday night that today’s game against Southeast Missouri would be his last. It was an unfortunate ending to Reed's tenure, as the team finished with a 2-5 record after a 46-23 loss to Southeast Missouri State on Sunday.
Although George has limited coaching experience, multiple media outlets have reported that Hue Jackson will take over the offensive coordinator role which will be a huge addition to the coaching staff.
"I am excited about being named head coach at Tennessee State University," George said. "I thank [President Glenda] Glover, [athletic director] Dr. [Mikki] Allen, and each of you for the confidence you have placed in me. All I have done has prepared me for this moment, whether that's my football career, my entrepreneurial endeavors, my acting career. Coaching is a full commitment, a duty of service. I take that seriously.” George added, “I've done a lot of soul searching and due diligence. The more I thought about it, I got more and more excited about it. It was like picking up an old guitar or getting back on a bike, it's familiar but in a different capacity. It's exciting. I'm going to be innovative, creative and fun.”
"I am excited about being named head coach at Tennessee State University," George said. "I thank [President Glenda] Glover, [athletic director] Dr. [Mikki] Allen, and each of you for the confidence you have placed in me."
Now, Jackson won’t be the only former NFL coach supporting George at TSU. Jeff Fisher, George’s coach with the Oilers and Titans in the NFL, has served as a mentor for him. There have also been many rumors that FISHER’s son, Brandon, will serve as assistant defensive coordinator at the Nashville HBCU, which is another big hire.
Eddie George admitted at his press conference that Jeff Fisher helped light a fire under him when presented with the chance to coach.
“Having Jeff has been invaluable. He’s really gone out of his way to guide me, to teach me to show me all the blindspots,” he said. “Things to think about away from the field in terms of running things efficiently. Setting up your camps, all the stuff that you need to present the package for the players. And that stuff has been huge.”
George played in Nashville, Tennessee, for the Tennessee Titans from 1996 to 2003 after a Hall of Fame career as a Heisman Trophy-winner for Ohio State.
Tennessee State expects that George will be able to not only bring fame but also success for a program that hasn't won the Ohio Valley Conference since 1999 or qualified for the FCS Playoffs since 2013.
"Eddie George has been a winner in every facet of the game and we look forward to him bringing that same commitment to our players and having it translate into winning on and off the field," Allen said. "We are excited to have him join us and lead the next chapter of our storied football program."