Sunday, February 28, 2016

Former coaches: Jackson State expects championships

JACKSON, Mississippi -- Only four days had passed since his introduction as Jackson State's head coach, but Tony Hughes was already well aware of what awaited him.

"At Jackson State, there’s nothing else acceptable except winning championships or playing for championships, that’s the standard. Getting this program back to that point is the only thing really acceptable," Hughes said. "If I was going to a program and the standard is a winning season, then it’s a different mentality. Or the standard of the program is let's be competitive every year, that’s a different standard. People around here don’t want to hear that. And I know that coming here, that’s why I took the challenge."

Hughes has yet to face the test of the regular season. He won't guide the Tigers, who went 3-8 in 2015 and have not won a SWAC championship since 2007, through their first day of spring practice until late March.

While Hughes waits to begin his first season, The Clarion-Ledger caught up with all of the living former Jackson State coaches who have coached the Tigers since 1964 — Rod Paige, Bob Hill, W.C. Gorden, James Bell, Rick Comegy and Harold Jackson. All but Comegy, who is currently rival Mississippi Valley State's coach, spoke with The Clarion-Ledger for this story.


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