By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TN Tribune)–Tennessee State University will have a new head football coach this fall.
While the official announcement was forthcoming, reports circulated over the weekend that former Titans star running back and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George would replace Rod Reed.
Reed had been head coach since 2010.
The Stadium website initially reported that Reed informed his players Saturday night before their final game of the spring against Southeast Missouri that this would be his last time on the sidelines. TSU lost that game Sunday 46-23 at Hale Stadium, finishing with a spring record of 2-5.
Reed’s best season came in 2013. The Tigers won the HBCU national championship that year. TSU finished 9-3 overall, 6-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference, and went to the FCS playoffs. The Tigers won their first-round game against Butler, but lost in the second round to Eastern Illinois. Unfortunately TSU had posted losing records the last three years and dropped 14 of 21 OVC games.
As a player Reed was among the greatest linebackers in school history during his time (1984-88). He also was defensive coordinator and linebacker coach from 2003-2010.
Eddie George has no previous coaching experience. As a player he not only won the Heisman, Walker and Maxwell trophies as a collegian, but was a four-time Pro Bowl selection with the Titans and cornerstone of the only Titans’ team to reach a Super Bowl.
More recently he has been a busy actor, recent appointee to the Montgomery Bell Academy Board of Trustees, and chair of the real estate advisory committee for Music City Baseball. This is the group seeking either an expansion or relocated Major League Baseball franchise for Nashville.
An official announcement from TSU was expected Monday. The Tigers’ hope is George’s hiring will stimulate the identical wave of fresh interest and exposure for TSU football that the hiring of Deion Sanders has done for Jackson State University.