Tenn. State Seeks New Football Coach
By Patrick Comer -- Black College Wire   

The search for the Tennessee State Tigers' 22nd head football coach is now under way.

Head coach James Webster will not be returning to coach the Tigers next season according to athlectic department sources and Nashville's Newschannel5.

The Meter
James Webster
The Tigers have not won a Conference title since 1999, and Webster stands to shoulder the blame for the sub-par record the Tigers have posted in the 2009 season. The Tigers have only won three games this season, including one home victory which came to the 1-win Southeastern State Missouri University Redhawks.

Overall, Webster has amassed 24 wins opposite 30 losses.

Part of the team's struggle to win games this year is a result of the losses sustained on the offensive side . The Tigers lost eight players, including OVC Player of the Year, running back Javarris Williams, quarterback Antonio Hefner and all three starting wide receivers, Chris Johnson, Brandon Belvin and JaJuan Spillman, who was declared academically ineligible prior to the season.

The losses on offense have proven too tough to overcome for this team, as the Tigers are ranked last in the conference in scoring offense at 13.2 ppg.

However, the Tigers ranked in the top three in total rushing and scoring defense in the league. However, they have struggled defending the pass, giving up more than 200 yards passing per game which ranks 8th in the conference.

Webster will leave as the first Tigers' coach to capture the Sgt. York Trophy, which he accomplished in his inaugural year and the year after. However, the Tigers struggled in their annual classic games during his tenure posting a 5-8 record, including an 1-8 record outside of the Liberty Bowl.

Coach Webster registered his first win as a head coach at the Southern Heritage Classic, as the Tigers defeated Jackson State University 20-14 in overtime. His first Ohio Valley Conference win came in a 31-20 victory at Tennessee Tech University on Oct. 15, 2005.

[Editor's note: Webster resigned after the Tigers' final game against Eastern Illinois. His team won that game 21-10.]

Patrick Comer is senior editor of The Meter, the Tennessee State University student newspaper, which originally published this article.


Posted Dec. 06, 2009