The start of the 2021 spring season has been a tumultuous one for Grambling State.
Three weeks into its six-game schedule, the Tigers are winless in the SWAC — a fate not experienced by the program since 2013 when that group lost 11 of its 12 scheduled contests in a year made notable by a player-led uprising.
While the current circumstances are not as dire for Grambling this time around, uncertainty exists.
Aside from the uncharacteristic underachievement, the coaching staff — particularly as it relates to Grambling’s struggling offense — is in influx.
HBCU Sports reported Sunday that assistant Kendrick Nord, the former Grambling quarterback great, was no longer in the role of interim offensive coordinator following a self-described “embarrassing” 48-21 loss versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Tigers punted on seven of its first 10 possessions and managed to compile 16 first downs while shuffling between quarterbacks Geremy Hickbottom and Elijah Walker.
Head coach Broderick Fobbs told the media Monday that Nord “removed himself” from the program after Saturday’s game due to a reported disagreement with internal evaluations.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” he said. “In the middle of moving guys around, he didn’t take too kindly to it, he voiced his opinion and decided to leave. I wasn’t planning on removing anyone at this time, I wanted to continue the evaluation process.”
The change comes a week after Mark Orlando, longtime HBCU offensive coordinator, chose to resign after Grambling was only able to muster 10 points in a loss to Prairie View.
For Fobbs, the diagnosis of his team’s sluggish start can likely be summed up as lack of execution at every level, whether it’s turnovers on offense, poor defensive consistency, or untimely special teams performances.
“We are a work in progress (and) we’re not playing really good football at this time and there’s a lot of changes and things happening,” said Fobbs. “It’s been very, very tough.”
How Grambling is able to right itself will hinge on Fobbs’ ability to provide stability and direction for a team that has been searching for it since the season opener.
“I pull from my experiences as a player, because there have been times when I’ve been down as a player,” he said during the SWAC coaches media availability. “I pull from other experiences by watching people like coach (Eddie Robinson) go through tough times. And then my own father (Lee Fobbs) went through a similar situation when he was at North Carolina A&T.”
Being at the bottom of the SWAC West standings is an unfamiliar position for a program that has been in contention for the division title since Fobbs took over as head coach in 2014.
“Everybody is playing more sound and better football than we are right now,” he said.