Jackson State fires coach, names interim head coach

Derrick McCall. Source: JSU Tigers Website
Derrick McCall. Source: JSU Tigers Website

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Harold Jackson's tenure as Jackson State head coach lasted just 17 games.

JSU fired Jackson as head coach on Tuesday.

Former JSU quarterback Derrick McCall will serve as the interim head coach for the final six games of the regular season. He is in his 8th season on the JSU staff. McCall has served as wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator. He played quarterback at JSU from 1979 to 1982, leading the Tigers to two SWAC championships.

Jackson State president Carolyn Meyers said the following:

 “Jackson State is a tradition-rich school and our athletics have always been an important aspect of university life. 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. We have worked well with and fully supported Coach Jackson. We honor and love him and wish him success in his future endeavors. Coach McCall has already proven his commitment to Jackson State as demonstrated by his work with our players.”


Interim athletic director Wheeler Brown said:

“This was a difficult decision for me to make knowing how hard Harold Jackson worked here to make this a winning program. 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.”

McCall also commented on the move, saying: "I am confident that we can field a very competitive team for the rest of this season." He will have six games to turn the Tigers around.

The dismissal comes during the Tigers bye week. Jackson State started the 2015 season 1-4 overall, 1-2 in SWAC play. The team allowed 50 or more points in three of the four losses, including a 59-27 result against Grambling this past Saturday.

Harold Jackson was hired as JSU head coach on January 13, 2014. The Tigers started the 2014 season 3-2, but lost five in a row to be eliminated from conference contention. That included the first loss against Mississippi Valley in two decades. JSU beat Texas Southern and Alcorn State to close the campaign, giving fans promise heading into 2015. But a slow start to this season and decreased attendance appears to be the final straw. The 17 game tenure is the shortest for a JSU head coach since Ulysses McPherson. He was 6-13 from 1969 & 1970.

We'll keep you updated with new information when it comes available.

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