Thursday, October 8, 2015

Jackson State Fires Harold Jackson After 1-4 Start; WR Coach Derrick McCall Named Interim

(Photo by Charles Smith/
After a 1-4 start this season, Jackson State has fired head coach Harold Jackson.  Wide receivers coach Derrick McCall becomes the interim head coach

Jackson, a former JSU and NFL star,  was 5-7 last year after replacing Rick Comegys, who was dismissed by JSU after the 2013 season. But after listless performances so far this season, grumblings from alumni and students used to Jackson State wins got louder.

Jackson State lost to Grambling by 32 points last week.  They have a bye week this week before playing at Alabama A&M on Oct. 17.

"This was a difficult decision for me to make knowing how hard Harold Jackson worked here to make this a winning program," said Interim Athletic Director Wheeler Brown in a statement on the university's athletics site. "He is a man of high character and integrity.  Although it has been disappointing how we have started this season, I am confident that we can improve with the talent we have on our roster."

"Jackson State is a tradition-rich school and our athletics have always been an important aspect of university life," said JSU President Carolyn W. Meyers in the statement. "We want to continue that spirit of improvement.  In making this decision, I considered both the recommendation of our interim director of athletics and responses from alumni and students."

McCall, who had been JSU's offensive coordinator in 2012 and 2013, previously was associate head coach/offensive coordinator at Shaw University, helping lead them to a CIAA championship and an NCAA Division II playoff berth.  He played quarterback at JSU from 1979-82 where he led the Tigers to two SWAC titles and two NCAA FCS playoff appearances.

"I am confident that we can field a very competitive team for the rest of the season," McCall said.

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