A year ago, Eddie George wasn’t giving any thoughts to becoming a football coach.
Today, he’s all-in as the leader of what he hopes will be the revival of Tennessee State University football. George led TSU to a 5-6 record during his first season in charge, and he’s excited about the future.
“You know, I love it man, I really do,” George told 247Sports. “I never thought in all my years of playing and since I’ve been retired for 15-some odd years that I would find so much joy in coaching. I mean there are the days where it’s frustrating and long hours and film study and recruiting and fundraising and all of that, but it’s so gratifying when you start to see these kids buy-in and get it and see success and see a smile on their faces, the appreciation, the thank-you’s that you get from the players, the ‘coach thanks for being hard on me, thanks for your advice.’ To give back to the game that gave me so much is so awesome, it’s so gratifying, I now understand why they say it’s addicting when you coach, it really is, it’s a wonderful calling.”
Eddie George, of course, made his coaching debut on the heels of Deion Sanders being hired to take over at Jackson State. He says his fellow former NFL star has been a mentor to him as both continue to find their way in their current profession.
“I talk to Deion a lot,” George said. “I talked to Deion during the process of me trying to figure out whether I was going to do this or not and we talked maybe once a week just to see how he’s doing, I know he had some issues and I told him I was praying for him, but more importantly he’s telling me best practices and things that he’s done to be successful. And the bottom line is this,” he said.
“Off the field our goal is to raise the profile, raise the standard of HBCUs and say ‘hey you know what, you don’t necessarily have to go to the Power Five schools to get to your end goal. You can come to an HBCU, you can come to a different school and be all that you want to be and be very successful.’