Less than two years into his coaching tenure, Jackson State has fired Harold Jackson, according to reports.
Jackson, who was hired Jan. 14, 2014, was 6-11 after replacing Rick Comegy, who led JSU to four SWAC Championship games and one conference title over eight seasons.
The Clarion-Ledger reported Tuesday that Jackson — in the second season of a three-year, $260,000 contract — had been fired.
“Jackson State is a tradition-rich school and our athletics have always been an important aspect of university life. We want to continue that spirit of improvement. In making this decision I considered both the recommendation of our interim director of athletics and responses from alumni and students,” said JSU President Carolyn Meyers.
Assistant coach Derrick McCall will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
“I am confident that we can field a very competitive team for the rest of this season,” McCall said.
Jackson, 69, was never able to lead the Tigers back to the SWAC title game after consecutive losses in 2012 and 2013.
Then Athletic Director Vivian Fuller said Jackson’s extensive assistant coaching experience at the FBS and NFL level as reasons for his hiring.
Prior to JSU, Jackson was head coach Division II Benedict College in 1996. Before that, he spent a season at Virginia Union, also a Division II school, in 1994.
Under Jackson, the Tigers struggled almost immediately. After starting the 2014 season 2-0, JSU lost seven of its next eight, including defeats to rivals Grambling State, Southern and at home to Mississippi Valley State, on the way to a 5-7 season.
Through five games in 2015, JSU began 1-4. In three of the defeats, Jackson State surrendered 50 or more points, highlighted by a 59-27 loss to Grambling last Saturday.
The team’s only win was a 34-30 turnover fest at home against Texas Southern on Sept 26.