On Tuesday, the Tennessee State football program officially named Eddie George the Tigers’ new head coach.
George, the former Ohio State Buckeyes/Tennessee Titans star running back, has no prior coaching experience at any level. That being said, the school believes it’s made “the right choice and investment” by hiring the rookie head coach.
While this hire is certainly a risk, the program prides itself in taking ambitious strides.
“For decades, TSU has always made bold and strategic hires within our athletic programs that laid the foundation for our storied success in sports,” University President Glenda Glover said in a statement.
TSU Names NFL great and Heisman Trophy Winner Eddie George Head Football Coach #RoarCity pic.twitter.com/DwUxa5j8xd
— TSU Athletics (@TSU_Tigers) April 13, 2021
Through four years with OSU from 1992-95, George solidified himself as an all-time great Buckeyes player. During his senior season, the dynamic RB rushed for 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns en route to an 11-2 overall record. These outstanding figures earned him a Heisman Trophy victory for the 1995 season.
Selected by the then-Houston Oilers with the No. 14 overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, George burst onto the league scene with some similar success — earning Rookie of the Year honors in his first professional season. With the team moving to Tennessee and becoming the Titans in 1997, the Philadelphia native began an even more impressive stretch of his career. From 1997-2000, George collected four Pro Bowl appearances in a row. In 2000, he earned his first All-Pro selection — leading the league in total offensive touches (453).
Through a nine-year NFL career, George amassed 12,668 total yards and 78 touchdowns. He’s only one of two running backs in league history to rush for 10,000+ yards while never missing a start, joining Jim Brown. His 130 consecutive starts are second only to the great Walter Payton (170).
While this is his first coaching job, George believes this wealth of playing experience has more than prepared him to seize this opportunity. It seems as though he’s ready to take his new position head on.
“All I have done has prepared me for this moment, whether that’s my football career, my entrepreneurial endeavors, my acting career,” George said in his official university statement. “Coaching is a full commitment, a duty of service. I take that seriously. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and due diligence. The more I thought about it, I got more and more excited about it. It was like picking up an old guitar or getting back on a bike, it’s familiar but in a different capacity.”
As a former elite all-purpose back, George should have plenty of offensive tricks up his sleeves this coming season. The first-time coach is ready to enjoy himself on the sideline in 2021.
“It’s exciting,” he said. “I’m going to be innovative, creative and fun.”
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