Eddie George’s resume is already packed from a professional career that included success in the NFL, the business world and on Broadway.
But it’s time to add another line, as the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner was announced as Tennessee State’s head football coach on April 13.
In the Tigers’ release on George’s hire, he said: “All I have done has prepared me for this moment, whether that’s my football career, my entrepreneurial endeavors, my acting career. Coaching is a full commitment, a duty of service. I take that seriously. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and due diligence. The more I thought about it, I got more and more excited about it. It was like picking up an old guitar or getting back on a bike, it’s familiar but in a different capacity. It’s exciting. I’m going to be innovative, creative and fun.”
George is the latest in a string of Heisman winners who have served as college football head coaches. The most prominent Heisman head coach is, of course, “Head Ball Coach” Steve Spurrier (our 1966 Heisman winner).
Spurrier, following a decade in the NFL, began a 40-year coaching career at his alma mater Florida as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach in 1978.
He got his first head coaching assignment at Duke (1987-1989) before taking over at Florida (1990-2001). After a stint with Washington in the NFL, he took over at South Carolina for another decade (2005-2015).
Pat Sullivan (1971) enjoyed an almost three-decade-long coaching career that including head coaching assignments at TCU (1992-97) and Samford (2007-14).
John David Crow (1957) served as head coach at Northeast Louisiana (1976-80) following assistant coach jobs in the NFL and at Alabama.
A handful of fellow Heisman winners coached in various capacities, including Johnny Lujack (1947) who served two years on Notre Dame’s staff (1952-53). 1955 winner Howard “Hopalong” Cassady was a scout for the New York Yankees and served as a first base coach for their Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers.