Recent Coaching Hires | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Recent Coaching Hires

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Bryan Flynn

If you haven't noticed, three recent coaching hires are shaking up area colleges and universities. Mississippi College, Belhaven and Jackson State have all made coaching changes.

Jackson State's hire will get the most press because of the strangeness of the situation. The Tigers let Rick Comegy's contract expire after he took JSU to two straight SWAC Championship games.

JSU announced this week the school had hired Harold Jackson. The Tigers' new coach was a star wide receiver at JSU before going on to a lengthy NFL career. It is great that Jackson is getting a chance to be a head coach, but I'm not sure what more the university expected from Comegy as head coach. The last two years, Comegy took the JSU program far, falling just short of winning. One has to wonder what other issue led the powers-that-be to change the coaching lineup.

Jackson will have to start winning quickly. The JSU fan base expects victories—and rightly so with the program's winning history.

Pressure to win next season will be heavy on Jackson due to JSU's recent success, and the fact that the school is paying Jackson more than it paid Comegy last season. Jackson is making $260,000 to Comegy's $200,000.

Belhaven also made a splash hire, naming Hal Mumme the Blazers new coach. Mumme is best known for his time at Kentucky, when he brought his "Air Raid" offense to the SEC.

His time in Kentucky didn't end pretty—he was forced to resign amid a NCAA scandal.

But Mumme is considered an offensive innovator, and he has been successful just about everywhere he has gone. He'll will make the Blazers a fun team to watch as they sling the ball all over the field. Given time, Mumme should be able to win at Belhaven.

Mississippi College named John Bland the 14th coach in school history. Bland might have the hardest job of three because the Choctaws are transitioning from Division III to Division II.

The Choctaws will play in the very competitive Gulf South Conference, and MC will have a natural rivalry once more with Delta State.

Mississippi College will have to give Bland time as the team transitions to a higher level of college football. After all, it wasn't like MC was dominating their current conference, the American Southwest, before deciding to move up a division.

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