JACKSON, Miss. – Jackson State hired former Tigers player and NFL standout Harold Jackson as its football coach.
Jackson replaces Rick Comegy, who was fired in December after eight seasons. Jackson State had an 8-4 record this fall, but lost to Southern in the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game.
Jackson, 68, who played for Jackson State in the 1960s, had a 16-year NFL career, including stops with the Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. He was a five-time Pro Bowl pick.
Jackson has also had a lengthy career as an assistant coach at the NFL and college levels. His most recent job was as an assistant coach with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League in 2012.
The school introduced Jackson at a Monday press conference on campus. Jackson State spokesman Eric Stringfellow said Jackson has a three-year contract for $260,000 annually.
Comegy made about $200,000 in his final season.
“I want to thank you for this opportunity to come back home,” Jackson said. “I’m not a big speaker – I believe in action. We’re going to put the excitement and the product on the field. We’re going to be disciplined.”
A Mississippi native, he said he would concentrate on recruiting local athletes before venturing out of the state. The school said one reason Comegy was fired – despite a 55-35 record – was because of his reluctance to recruit from central Mississippi.