Jackson State Tigers football

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Jackson State Tigers football
2018 Jackson State Tigers football team
JacksonStateTigers.png
First season1911
Athletic directorAshley Robinson
Head coachJohn Hendrick
1 season, 2–1 (.667)
StadiumMississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 60,492)
Field surfaceNatural grass
LocationJackson, Mississippi
ConferenceSWAC (Since 1958)
DivisionEast
All-time record477–331–22 (.588)
Bowl record2–1 (.667)
Claimed nat'l titles3 (Black College National Championships 1962, 1985, 1996)
Conference titles16 (SWAC: Championships 1961, 1962, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982,1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2007)
Division titles7 (SWAC East: 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010*, 2011*, 2012, 2013)
ColorsBlue, White, and Gray[1]
              
Fight songCheer Boys for Jackson
Marching bandSonic Boom of the South
Websitewww.gojsutigers.com

The Jackson State Tigers are the college football team representing the Jackson State University. The Tigers play in NCAA Division I Football Championship as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

History[edit]

The Jackson State Tigers football program is one of the most storied in the nation among HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Shortly after becoming the school’s first African American president, Dr. Zachary T. Hubert began to develop Jackson College’s athletics program. The football team was first organized in 1911 by Coach John Pinkett. Jubie Bragg served as the team's second coach from 1913 to 1915. Other coaches who helped to shape the program in its early days include Earnest Richards, Belford Lawson Jr., Charles Clark, John H Young.

Following World War II, T.B. Ellis became coach and athletics director at Jackson College. Ellis only served as football coach from 1946-1951, but his impact on JSU's overall athletics program and institution is far-reaching. John Merritt was named head coach in 1952, ushering in the era that would elevate Jackson College into a championship program.

After joining the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 1958, the program exploded into national prominence. Since 1958, Jackson State has won 26% of the conference’s football championships (16) and is a perennial powerhouse program among HBCUs. The Tigers have produced 93 pro football players and the NFL Hall of Famers - Only 13 college football teams (at any level) have produced more NFL Hall of Famers than JSU.

Classifications[edit]

  • 1958–1969: NAIA
  • 1970–1982: NAIA Division I
  • 1956–1972: NCAA College Division
  • 1973–1976: NCAA Division II
  • 1977: NCAA Division I
  • 1978–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS

Conference memberships[edit]

Championships[edit]

National Championships[edit]

Conference Championships[edit]

Year Coach Conference Overall record Conference record
1920 Earnest Richards Mississippi-Louisiana Conference Champions
1957 John Merritt Midwest Athletic Association
1961 John Merritt Southwestern Athletic Conference 9–2 6–1
1962 John Merritt Southwestern Athletic Conference 10–1 6–1
1972 Robert "Bob" Hill Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–3 5–1
1973 Robert "Bob" Hill Southwestern Athletic Conference 9–2 5–1
1975 Robert "Bob" Hill Southwestern Athletic Conference 7–3 4–2
1980 W. C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–3 5–1
1981 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 9–2–1 5–1
1982 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 9–3 6–0
1985 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–3 6–1
1986 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 9–3 7–0
1987 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–3–1 7–0
1988 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–1–2 7–0
1990 W.C. Gorden Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–4 5–1
1995 James Carson Southwestern Athletic Conference 9–3 7–0
1996 James Carson Southwestern Athletic Conference 10–2 6–1
2007 Rick Comegy Southwestern Athletic Conference 8–4 8–2

Division championships[edit]

The Southwestern Athletic Conference instituted the divisional system for football in 1999. Jackson State plays in the Eastern Division of the conference along with Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, and Mississippi Valley. The SWAC Western Division includes the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Grambling, Prairie View A&M, Southern U, and Texas Southern. Each season, the SWAC East and SWAC West divisional champions face off in the SWAC Championship Game.

Year Coach Division Overall record Conference record Opponent CG result
1999 Robert Hughes SWAC Eastern Division 8–4 8–2 Southern L 30–31
2007 Rick Comegy SWAC Eastern Division 8–4 8–2 Grambling State W 42–31
2008 Rick Comegy SWAC Eastern Division 7–5 6–1 Grambling State L 9–41
2010† Rick Comegy SWAC Eastern Division 8–3 6–3 N/A lost tiebreaker to Alabama State
2011† Rick Comegy SWAC Eastern Division 9–2 7–2 N/A lost tiebreaker to Alabama A&M ^
2012 Rick Comegy SWAC Eastern Division 7–5 7–2 Arkansas–Pine Bluff L 21–24 OT
2013 Rick Comegy SWAC Eastern Division 8–4 8–1 Southern L 27–34 2OT

† Co–champions

NCAA I-AA/FCS Playoff Results[edit]

The Tigers have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs 12 times with a record of 0–12.

Year Round Opponent Result
1978 Semifinals Florida A&M L 10–15
1981 Quarterfinals Boise State L 7–19
1982 First Round Eastern Illinois L 13–16
1985 First Round Georgia Southern L 0–27
1986 First Round Tennessee State L 23–32
1987 First Round Arkansas State L 32–35
1988 First Round Stephen F. Austin L 0–24
1989 First Round Montana L 7–48
1990 First Round Middle Tennessee L 7–28
1995 First Round Marshall L 8–38
1996 First Round William & Mary L 6–45
1997 First Round Western Illinois L 24–31

Head coaches[edit]

Jackson State's head coaches post–World War II.

Tenure Coach Overall record Conference record Pct.
1911–1912 John R. Pinkett 0-3 -- .000
1913–1915 Jubie Bragg 3-4 -- .429
1920, 1923 Earnest Richards 3-3 -- .500
1924–1928 Belford Lawson Jr. 2-8 -- .200
1929–1936 Charles Clark 6-24-5 -- .243
1937–1939 John H. Young 3-5-2 -- .400
1946–1951 T. B. Ellis 32–24–1 .570
1952–1962 John Merritt 63–37–5 20–8 .624
1963 Edward Clemons 4–5 2–5 .444
1964–1968 Rod Paige 25–19–2 15–18–2 .565
1969–1970 Ulysses S. McPherson 6–13 2–11 .316
1971–1975 Robert "Bob" Hill 40–12–1 22–7–1 .764
1976–1991 W. C. Gorden 119–48–5 79–21 .706
1992–1998 James "Big Daddy" Carson 54–25–1 38–12–1 .681
1999–2002 Robert "Judge" Hughes 32–13 20–5 .711
2003–2005 James Bell 8–23 7–16 .258
2006–2013 Rick Comegy 55–35 49–19 .611
2014–2015 Harold Jackson 6–11 4–8 .353
2016–2018 Tony Hughes 9–20 8–12 .310
2018– John Hendrick 2-1 2-1 .667

College Football Hall of Fame members[edit]

Alumni in the NFL[edit]

As of 2017, 93 Jackson State alumni have played in the NFL.[2] Notable players include:

Player Position Draft Pick Team Seasons Notes
Walter Payton RB 1975 1-4 Chicago Bears 13 Pro Football Hall of Fame, League MVP, number retired, 9× Pro Bowler, 1994 all-time NFL team
Jimmy Smith WR 1992 2-36 Dallas Cowboys 12 5× Pro Bowler
Lem Barney DB 1967 2-34 Detroit Lions 11 Pro Football Hall of Fame, 7× Pro Bowler, Defensive Rookie of the Year
Harold Jackson WR-FL 1968 12-323 Los Angeles Rams 16 5× Pro Bowler
Jackie Slater T-G 1976 3-86 Los Angeles Rams 20 Pro Football Hall of Fame, 7× Pro Bowler, number retired
Robert Brazile LB 1975 1-6 Houston Oilers 10 Pro Football Hall of Fame, 7× Pro Bowler, Defensive Rookie of the Year
Wilbert Montgomery RB 1977 6-154 Philadelphia Eagles 9 2× Pro Bowler, Eagles Hall of Fame
Coy Bacon DE-DT 1964 Undrafted 14 3× Pro Bowler
Leon Gray T-G 1973 3-78 Miami Dolphins 11 4× Pro Bowler
Verlon Biggs DE 1965 3-20 New York Jets (AFL) 10 3× AFL All-Star
Rich Caster TE-WR 1970 2-46 New York Jets 13 3× Pro Bowler
Roy Hilton DE 1965 15-210 Baltimore Colts 11
Buster Barnett TE 1981 11-299 Buffalo Bills 4
Eddie Payton RB 1973 Undrafted 5 1980 NFL leader in kick returns
Jaymar Johnson WR 2008 6th round draft pick 3
Reggie Carr DE 1987 Undrafted 1
Cletus Gordon DB/WR 2006 Undrafted 5
Marcus Benard LB 2009 Undrafted 5
Domonique Johnson DB 2009 Undrafted 4
Rico Richardson WR 2013 Undrafted 2 Only alumnus to enter the NFL since 2009[2]
Rickey Young RB 1975 7-164 San Diego Chargers 9 1978 NFL leader in receptions (88)
Corey Bradford WR 1998 5-150 Green Bay Packers 9 25 career receiving TDs
Robert Kent QB 2004 Undrafted 0 Signed with Tennessee, but did not play[3]

Tiger Fans[edit]

Jackson State's fanbase takes much pride in its football program. The Tigers' faithful following has crushed FCS (formerly NCAA I-AA) records repeatedly and helped make the program a major draw for neutral-site contests. JSU's average home attendance reached its peak in 1997 when the Tigers outdrew (38,873 fans per game) both of Mississippi's SEC teams (MSU 32,371, Ole Miss 34,799). JSU has averaged 24,000+ fans at home games from 1970-2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "JSU Color Scheme | Style Guide". Jsums.edu. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Jackson St. Players/Alumni". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 17 Feb 2017.
  3. ^ "Robert Kent". kffl.com. Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved December 31, 2014.

External links[edit]