Friday, January 15, 2016

This is Tony Hughes' chance at making his own history

JACKSON, MissThere’s a deep-rooted sense of history inside Tony Hughes, one that has pushed him in his free time to explore anything from the 1850s-1970s to the transformation of the South to Jackson State’s past. He may not have lived it, but he knows everything about the 17 SWAC championships and the legends like Walter Payton, Jackie Slater and Lem Barney that made the Tigers who they were.

Hughes traveled the roads of Mississippi with Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, the two talking history when not football. Hughes’ professional life has been spent helping Mullen and others win football games, as a tireless assistant coach that was a fervent recruiter not only because of his devotion to it, but because he could not help being who he was and knowing everything and everyone.

Now, instead of studying it or serving as the man behind the man who gets his name in the history books, Hughes will get to create his own record. He’ll do so for Jackson State, helping rebuild a once-proud program that, at age 56, finally gave Hughes a chance to be a head coach.

“For a very long time, he wondered about it,” said Hughes’ wife, Marion. “But he never lost hope.”

Hughes’ faith was rewarded exactly one month ago Thursday when JSU introduced him


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