Tennessee State announced the hiring of former Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George as the school’s football coach on Tuesday.
He replaces Rod Reed, whose contract wasn’t renewed.
“Eddie George has been a winner in every facet of the game and we look forward to him bringing that same commitment to our players and having it translate into winning on and off the field,” athletic director Dr. Mikki Allen said in a news release. “We are excited to have him join us and lead the next chapter of our storied football program.”
This is George’s first coaching job.
“All I have done has prepared me for this moment, whether that’s my football career, my entrepreneurial endeavors, my acting career,” George, 47, said. “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.”
George promised that as a coach he would be “innovative, creative and fun.”
The announcement of his coaching staff is expected in the coming days.
News of George’s pending hire emerged Sunday as the Tigers were preparing for season finale under Reed. They finished 2-5 on the season, which was moved to the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, giving Reed a career 58-61 record in 11 seasons.
George becomes the second former NFL player to become head coach of a Historically Black College and University in the past year, joining Pro Football Hall of Fame member Deion Sanders at Jackson State.
George played four seasons at Ohio State (1992-95) and won the Heisman after a spectacular senior year in which he ran for 1,927 yards and added 417 receiving yards. He scored 25 touchdowns.
The Houston Oilers made him the No. 14 overall selection in the 1996 NFL Draft. He moved with the franchise to Tennessee the following year and began a string of four Pro Bowl berths that culminated with All-Pro honors in 2000.
George moved on to the Cowboys in 2004 and spent his final NFL season in Dallas.
In his NFL career, George ran for 10,441 yards, caught 268 passes for 2,227 yards and scored 78 total touchdowns.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.