Kermit Blount is back in the CIAA, and it’s just like he never left.
Blount was one of the big story’s of Thursday’s CIAA Media Day in Durham. The first-year Johnson C. Smith head coach last appeared at that particular gathering ten years ago as the coach of Winston-Salem State.
If you didn’t know any better, you’d think the last ten years didn’t happen. Blount was in rare-form on Thursday, as he made light of his new team’s underdog status.
“Well I don’t think we have to go to Winston this year because (WSSU coach Kienus) Boulware took us off the schedule,” Blount joked. “I requested to be taken off, and I think he’s gonna accommodate me.”
A decade later and a stint at Delaware State in between, Blount is back in the conference that he first made a name for himself as a quarterback at WSSU in the mid-1970s.
Blount served as head coach at his alma mater from 1993 through 2009, when he was let go despite setting a school-record for wins (90 in 17 seasons.) He then spent four years at Delaware State, gpomg 16-29.
Now he returns to the CIAA at Johnson C. Smith, a team he dominated while at WSSU, winning 12 of 13 contests during his tenure there.
“This is going to be a big challenge to go back up to Winston and play at a place that I’ve worked at for so long. But again, it’s not about me, it’s about these young men.”
WSSU has dominated the CIAA since Blount’s departure, losing just two regular season games in the conference since 2010. If Blount and his team are to win a CIAA Championship, the road will likely pass through his old stomping grounds.
“My job is to make sure that I have them prepared into the field of battle and I’m gonna do that,” Blount said on Thursday. “We’ll be ready to play.”