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HBCU Football Coaches Seats Are Getting Warm

Several HBCU head and assistant coaches may be on the all too familiar hot seat in the SWAC, MEAC, and OVC.

Several HBCU head and assistant coaches may be on the all too familiar hot seat in the SWAC, MEAC, and OVC. If they are not, it's warming up and steamy like a humid summer day in South Louisiana.

What's odd is that most of these coaches and their programs are either in their first or second seasons and the administrators, boosters, and alumni are getting restless from the losing and are demanding wins.

Think about it, FBS presidents and athletic directors have already fired a few prominent head coaches.  Could HBCUs start to make changes?  

Dawson Odums

NORFOLK STATE (0-5)

Last season, Norfolk State's first-year head coach Dawson Odums was a couple of wins away from earning a trip to the Celebration Bowl. In 2022, the wins aren't coming for the Spartans, who sit at 0-5 on the season with tough non-MEAC losses. A rising Morgan State program will play host to NSU on Saturday afternoon. Should they lose to Damon Wilson's Bears, the Spartans' downward spiral could signal deeper trouble in Norfolk.

Coach Clarence McKinney

TEXAS SOUTHERN (1-4)

Coach McKinney and OC Marsh are good coaches and people. In his presser, McKinney told me that the offense is "out of sync." However, losing the home opener to Alabama State after controlling the scoring until 7:21 in the 4th quarter and losing by 3 points doesn't bode well with TSU fans and alums. The highly touted sophomore Andrew Body and the Texas Southern offense has been consistently inconsistent through the first five games of 2022. On the sidelines, we witnessed several passionate conversations between Body and Marsh at the ASU contest. Either Body and the offense must execute, or the coaching needs to get through to the players.

Texas Southern held to football for 20 minutes, compared to ASU's 40.

The defense has performed well to keep TSU in games, but it's time to allow Andrew Body to be Andrew Body. The Hornets' defenders quickly cracked the Tigers' offensive plays and players. Gaddy and his crew were in the TSU backfield, pressuring Body most of the evening. The RPOs were predictable, and receivers couldn't get separation.

The Texas Southern running plays on the outside with RB Howard and QB Body worked, and crossing routes were effective, but Marsh needed to go back to those plays more. Something will have to change or be tweaked before Jackson State comes to Houston in a few weeks.

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Hue Jackson

GRAMBLING STATE (1-4)

Hue Jackson was to restore Grambling State's program and brand to prominence in HBCU football. After five games into his first season, we can state a contrary argument. Amid the early Art Briles controversy, the public scrutiny of hires, and removing the Gs off the helmets, the Tigers appear to be in a freefall. Three-straight SWAC losses, two to East division opponents, and an offense yet to find stability at quarterback, Jackson must find a way to right the ship. Prairie View dominated the G-Men early and at no point were threatened by the Tigers.

Grambling has Alabama A&M, Florida A&M, Alcorn State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Texas Southern games ahead of the Bayou Classic versus Southern. The Tigers could be favored in two games of this stretch and end the season at 3-8. If so, could changes be in store within the athletic department in Grambling?

Eddie George

TENNESSEE STATE (0-4)

Falling to Lane 28-27 in overtime at the John Merritt Classic was a tough loss for second-year head coach Eddie George. The SIAC challengers walk into Nashville, a double-digit underdog, and left the Tigers at 0-4 on the season, seven-straight losses since Nov. 6 of the 2021 season.

George and the Tigers face a Bethune-Cookman team smarting from a 35-27 defeat at the hands of Alabama A&M.  The Wildcats are dangerous and could extend the losing streak for the Tigers.

Vincent Dancy

MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE  (0-5)

Coach Dancy is well respected by many, especially after a promising 2021 campaign by playing teams close and tough.  However, the Delta Devils have yet to put a W on the board.  We know of the program's deficits in resources, problems with the football program's facilities, and a new athletic director may have hampered the growth strategy for MVSU.  

It may be unfair to dump Dancy into the fire, but its been since 2018.  The administration has accountability for most of the issues MVSU football players have faced in Itta Bena.

I believe Dancy deserves another year, but how new AD Hakim McClelland will conduct his evaluation may be another story.

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