Jackson State fires Rick Comegy after 8 seasons
Jackson State fired football coach Rick Comegy on Wednesday
after eight seasons.
Comegy had a 55-35 record during his tenure and he led the
Tigers to the 2007 Southwestern Athletic Conference championship.
Jackson State had an 8-4 record this season, including an 8-1 mark
in the SWAC. The Tigers lost to Southern in the SWAC championship
game 34-27 in double overtime.
Jackson State spokesman Eric Stringfellow said during a
Wednesday press conference that the decision to fire Comegy wasn’t
completely based on his record, but a combination of factors.
The football program has had academic issues in the past,
failing to meet the NCAA’s APR standards. Those numbers have
improved during recent seasons.
Stringfellow said the next JSU coach would ”recruit local” and
players would also have ”discipline as part of their DNA.”
”This isn’t just about wins and losses,” Stringfellow said.
”If you’ve done your homework, you can see that coach Comegy has
had some success. This is about the direction of the program and
about our student-athletes, putting them in position to be
Stringfellow said Comegy will be paid a $50,000 buyout.
Assistant coach Antonio Knight, who is also the recruiting
coordinator, will lead the program while the university searches
for a new coach.
Stringfellow said the rest of Comegy’s staff will be released
after their contracts expire on Dec. 31, but could be re-hired by
the new coach.
Jackson State’s athletic budget is expected to be $6.5 million
this year, which ranks 7th out of the 10 SWAC schools. Comegy made
just under $200,000 per season.
The school’s budget took a hit when Grambling’s football players
refused to travel to Jackson State for a football game in October
because of issues with Grambling coaches and administration. The
game was ruled a forfeit and Jackson State had to refund all ticket
But Stringfellow said that didn’t affect the decision to fire
”The Grambling game had nothing to do with this,” Stringfellow
said. ”This was not driven by budget. We’re going to be
competitive in terms of going after the next coach and going to pay
what we think is fair and what the university can afford.”
Jackson State athletic director Vivian L. Fuller said in a
statement the school is ”grateful to Coach Comegy and his staff
for their service to Jackson State. We appreciate the work he has
done with JSU athletics and we wish him well.”
Fuller did not attend Wednesday’s press conference.
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