MVSU says coach Willie Totten has resigned
JACKSON, Miss. (AP)Mississippi Valley State football coach Willie Totten, who was Jerry Rice's quarterback when he played for the Delta Devils, resigned Tuesday.
Totten will remain at the school with different duties.
The school announced the move in a news release. The decision is effective immediately and comes after the Delta Devils finished last in the Southwestern Athletic Conference at 3-8. Totten was 31-57 in eight seasons at the historically black Football Championship Subdivision team in Itta Bena.
Messages left for Totten and interim athletic director Donald Sims were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Sims thanked Totten for his service in the news release.
Totten was best known for his record-setting connection with teammate Jerry Rice in the early 1980s under coach Archie Cooley.
The native of nearby Greenwood set more than 50 passing records before graduating in 1986 and going on to play in the Canadian Football League. The College Football Hall of Fame member led his team to a 28-11-1 record in his four years as a starter for a program that had just one winning season in the previous 15. He was voted all-Southwestern Athletic Conference all four seasons and was also an All-America selection.
His wide-open game earned him the nickname "Satellite," but he was unable to reproduce that success as head coach.
His tenure started promisingly enough. Hired in December 2001 following an 0-11 season, Totten engineered the FCS' biggest turnaround as the Delta Devils went 5-6 in 2002. His best years came in 2005 and 2006 when he led the team to consecutive 6-5 seasons.
Totten will remain on the faculty of the health, physical education and recreation department and will serve as an adviser for the men's college. He also will begin work on creating an athletic foundation at the school, the news release says.