Rod Reed Era Ends at TSU

After 11 seasons Rod Reed’s tenure as head football coach at TSU has ended. Reed won one national HBCU championship and got the school its first FCS playoff win in several years during his time as head coach. Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — The Tennessee State Tigers made it official Monday that head coach Rod Reed’s final game was Sunday’s 46-23 loss to Southeast Missouri State at Hale Stadium. The announcement came from Dr. Mikki Allen, TSU’s Director of Athletics. Reed had spent 11 seasons as the Tigers’ head football coach. 

“After thoroughly evaluating the state of the TSU Football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a change in leadership,” Dr. Allen said. “We would like to thank Rod for his service, dedication and commitment to his alma mater over the past 11 years. Rod is and will always be a TSU Tiger.”

Rod Reed’s association with Tennessee State dates back to the mid-80s, when he was a star linebacker from 1984-88. He returned to the school as an associate head coach and defensive coordinator in 2003. He was named head coach six years later. The Tigers began to progress in his second season, winning four of the final six games. They opened 2012 with seven straight wins and completed the year with an 8-3 mark.

But his best year came in 2013. TSU finished 10-4. Reed was named Eddie Robinson SBN Black Coach of the Year and also earned the NCAA Head Coaches Award, while the Tigers captured the HBCU national championship. They capped off that year with an FCS playoff win over Butler, TSU’s first since 1986. They lost to Eastern Illinois in the second round. The Tigers had another 7-4 year in 2016 after a 2015 losing season, but in recent years had encountered tough times.

Still, despite this season’s 2-5 mark and an overall 58-61 record, Rod Reed achieved a lot during his time at TSU. Those accomplishments include coaching nearly 40 All-Americans and more than 70 All-OVC selections. Former Titans great and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George will take over as the Tigers’ next head coach.