|Jackson State Tigers football|
|Athletic director||Ashley Robinson|
|Head coach||John Hendrick|
1 season, 2–1 (.667)
|Stadium||Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium|
|Field surface||Natural grass|
|Conference||SWAC (Since 1958)|
|All-time record||477–331–22 (.588)|
|Bowl record||2–1 (.667)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||3 (Black College National Championships 1962, 1985, 1996)|
|Conference titles||16 (SWAC: Championships 1961, 1962, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982,1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1996, 2007)|
|Division titles||7 (SWAC East: 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010*, 2011*, 2012, 2013)|
|Colors||Blue, White, and Gray|
|Fight song||Cheer Boys for Jackson|
|Marching band||Sonic Boom of the South|
The Jackson State Tigers are the college football team representing the Jackson State University. The Tigers play in NCAA Division I Football Championship as a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
- 1 History
- 2 Championships
- 3 NCAA I-AA/FCS Playoff Results
- 4 Bowl games
- 5 Head coaches
- 6 Rivalries
- 7 College Football Hall of Fame members
- 8 Pro Football Alumni
- 9 Facilities
- 10 Tiger Fans
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The Jackson State Tigers football program is one of the most storied in the nation among HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Shortly after becoming the school’s first African American president, Dr. Zachary T. Hubert began to develop Jackson College’s athletics program. The football team was first organized in 1911 by Coach John Pinkett. Jubie Bragg served as the team's second coach from 1913 to 1915. Other coaches who helped to shape the program in its early days include Earnest Richards, Belford Lawson Jr., Charles Clark, John H Young.
Following World War II, T.B. Ellis became coach and athletics director at Jackson College. Ellis only served as football coach from 1946-1951, but his impact on JSU's overall athletics program and institution is far-reaching. John Merritt was named head coach in 1952, ushering in the era that would elevate Jackson College into a championship program.
After joining the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 1958, the program exploded into national prominence. Since 1958, Jackson State has won 26% of the conference’s football championships (16) and is a perennial powerhouse program among HBCUs. The Tigers have produced 93 pro football players and 4 NFL Hall of Famers - Only 13 college football teams (at any level) have produced more NFL Hall of Famers than JSU.
- 1958–1969: NAIA
- 1970–1982: NAIA Division I
- 1956–1972: NCAA College Division
- 1973–1976: NCAA Division II
- 1977: NCAA Division I
- 1978–present: NCAA Division I–AA/FCS
- 1911–1946: Independent
- 1947–1950: South Central Athletic Conference
- 1951: Independent
- 1952–1957: Midwest Athletic Association
- 1958–present: Southwestern Athletic Conference
- Black College National Champions (1962)
- Black College National Champions (1985)
- Black College National Champions (1996)
Jackson State has earned a total of eighteen (18) conference championships and has won the SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) title sixteen (16 ) times since joining in 1958. Conference championships include:
The Southwestern Athletic Conference instituted a divisional system for football in 1999. Jackson State plays in the Eastern Division of the conference along with Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Alcorn State, and Mississippi Valley. The SWAC Western Division includes the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Grambling, Prairie View A&M, Southern U, and Texas Southern. Each season, the SWAC East and SWAC West divisional champions face off in the SWAC Championship Game. Jackson State University claims seven (7) SWAC Eastern Division Championships: 1999, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and has won five (5) outright to advance to the title game.
|Year||Coach||Division||Overall record||Conference record||Opponent||CG result|
|1999||Robert "Judge" Hughes||SWAC Eastern Division||8–4||8–2||Southern||L 30–31|
|2007||Rick Comegy||SWAC Eastern Division||8–4||8–2||Grambling State||W 42–31|
|2008||Rick Comegy||SWAC Eastern Division||7–5||6–1||Grambling State||L 9–41|
|2010†||Rick Comegy||SWAC Eastern Division||8–3||6–3||N/A lost tiebreaker to Alabama State ‡|
|2011†||Rick Comegy||SWAC Eastern Division||9–2||7–2||N/A lost tiebreaker to Alabama A&M ^|
|2012||Rick Comegy||SWAC Eastern Division||7–5||7–2||Arkansas–Pine Bluff||L 21–24OT|
|2013||Rick Comegy||SWAC Eastern Division||8–4||8–1||Southern||L 27–342OT (win vacated by Southern^)|
NCAA I-AA/FCS Playoff Results
The Tigers have appeared in the I-AA/FCS playoffs 12 times with a record of 0–12.
|1978||Semifinals||Florida A&M||L 10–15|
|1981||Quarterfinals||Boise State||L 7–19|
|1982||First Round||Eastern Illinois||L 13–16|
|1985||First Round||Georgia Southern||L 0–27|
|1986||First Round||Tennessee State||L 23–32|
|1987||First Round||Arkansas State||L 32–35|
|1988||First Round||Stephen F. Austin||L 0–24|
|1989||First Round||Montana||L 7–48|
|1990||First Round||Middle Tennessee||L 7–28|
|1995||First Round||Marshall||L 8–38|
|1996||First Round||William & Mary||L 6–45|
|1997||First Round||Western Illinois||L 24–31|
|1961||Orange Blossom Classic||Miami, FL||Florida A&M||L 8–14|
|1962||Orange Blossom Classic||Miami, FL||Florida A&M||W 22–6|
|1971||Azalea Bowl||Mobile, AL||Alabama A&M||W 40–21|
|Tenure||Coach||Overall record||Conference record||Pct.|
|1911–1912||John R. Pinkett||0-3||--||.000|
|1920, 1923||Earnest Richards||3-3||--||.500|
|1924–1928||Belford Lawson Jr.||2-8||--||.200|
|1937–1939||John H. Young||3-5-2||--||.400|
|1939–1951||T. B. Ellis||32–24–1||–||.570|
|1969–1970||Ulysses S. McPherson||6–13||2–11||.316|
|1971–1975||Robert "Bob" Hill||40–12–1||22–7–1||.764|
|1976–1991||W. C. Gorden||119–48–5||79–21||.706|
|1992–1998||James "Big Daddy" Carson||54–25–1||38–12–1||.681|
|1999–2002||Robert "Judge" Hughes||32–13||20–5||.711|
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During the early years of Jackson State’s football history, rivalries were established with in-State foes like Rust College and Tougaloo. Stillman College of Alabama was also a common opponent which brought excitement to games played at the Mississippi Fairgrounds and later at Alumni Field on the campus of Jackson State. Since then, JSU has formed several traditional rivalries with long-time foes.
"The Soul Bowl"
The Soul Bowl is an American college football rivalry between Jackson State and Alcorn State. Mississippi's two largest historically black colleges and universities have played over 80 times in the game dating back to the late 1920s. The game has carried the unofficial moniker "the Soul Bowl" since the late 1970s. has JSU holds a 45-36-2 lead in the series which has included some of the greatest names in college football. From 1993-2011, the game was dubbed the "Capital City Classic" and held in Jackson annually.
"The BoomBox Classic"
Jackson State's annual meeting with rival Southern University, is informally called the "BoomBox Classic" - a portmanteau of the two schools' marching bands (Jackson State's "Sonic Boom of the South" and Southern's "Human Jukebox"). The heated contest between the teams is matched only by the battle between the celebrated marching bands. Southern holds a 33-29 lead in the series.
The Southern Heritage Classic
Jackson State's series with Tennessee State dates back more than 70 years. Most recently, the rivalry matchup has been held annually in Memphis, Tennessee and is officially named the Southern Heritage Classic.
College Football Hall of Fame members
Pro Football Alumni
As of 2017[update], Jackson State has produced 93 pro football players including four who have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and 16 who have been selected to play in the Pro Bowl. . Notable players include:
Jackson State University owns and operates Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium. The 60,492-seat venue has been the home field of Jackson State Football since 1970.
Jackson State's fanbase takes much pride in its football program. The Tigers' faithful following has crushed FCS (formerly NCAA I-AA) records repeatedly and helped make the program a major draw for neutral-site contests. JSU's average home attendance reached its peak in 1997 when the Tigers outdrew (38,873 fans per game) both of Mississippi's SEC teams (MSU 32,371, Ole Miss 34,799). JSU has averaged 24,000+ fans at home games from 1970-2018.