Bowie State
2023 Football

Bowie State University ready to get back to winning ways in CIAA and beyond

Bowie State players finally got a taste of losing in 2022. They didn’t like it and expect 2023 to be different.

Bowie State University football coach Kyle Jackson experienced many challenges while serving as the interim coach last year. He’s looking to move forward from those setbacks and set his team up for a comeback in the CIAA in his first year as the official head coach.

Bowie State has been a CIAA powerhouse that has high expectations of returning to the championship game every year. BSU experienced challenges that resulted in an uncharacteristic 6-4 season in 2022, but Jackson hopes to bring the program back to the top of the league.

“Last year definitely was a lot of growing pains. You talk about the quick turnaround that we had. Like I said, we lost about six coaches in a three month time span, lost our O.C. a week before camp started. So putting together pretty much a whole new staff in a matter of two months was a challenge,” Jackson told HBCU Gameday at CIAA Media Day.

Bowie State will have to replace DJ Golatt at quarterback.

Jackson was named the interim head coach after Damon Wilson left Bowie State to become the head coach at Morgan State University. Wilson didn’t go alone as he brought running backs coach David Fant Jr. and strength and conditioning and offensive line coach Richard Reddix to Morgan State. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tyrae Reid entered the Doug Williams Fellowship program and is now in his second year as an Offensive Assistant for the Washington Commanders.

Change happened quickly for the Bulldogs, but Coach Jackson adapted and put together a solid coaching staff that managed to have a 6-4 season.

Bowie State Kyle Jackson CIAA football
Bowie State head coach Kyle Jackson talks into his microphone.

Most programs that lose key personnel will have a tough season the following year. Jackson made the best of it and sees last year as a transition for the program.

“Last year was a stepping stone for us,” Jackson said. “Like I mentioned before, we were right where we belonged with the circumstances we experienced. But you gotta understand as well, these guys in this program never lost before. We have guys that came into the program 2017-2018. We’ve been winning since, so losing was not a good taste for those guys.”

Bowie State senior Keshane Hinckley agreed with Jackson.

“Last year definitely put a fire under us just because it’s a lot of guys, younger guys, that came up through the system and the program and we weren’t used to losing any games,” Hinckley said. “It just built a big fire under us and you’re going to really see in the season how it changes.”

Bowie State University, Keshane Hinckley

Bowie State won 42 games from 2017-2021,  including three consecutive CIAA championships and four NCAA Division II playoff appearances.

“6-4 wasn’t really a good year for us. The standard is the standard and we didn’t live up to that standard. Bowie State’s standard is to win, we’re gonna win championships, we’re gonna punch you in the mouth and we just fell short of that a little bit,” safety Keith Williams said. “We did deal with some adversity, but we’re gonna overcome it. It made us hungry. We’re gonna work and look forward to paying everybody back this year.”

Jackson and Bowie State are on a mission to get back to their winning ways. The road to payback begins in Dover, Delaware against Delaware State University on September 2nd.

Correction: Former Bowie State quarterback DJ Golatt’s name was misspelled in the original caption.

Bowie State University ready to get back to winning ways in CIAA and beyond
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