Sylvester Croom

Sylvester Croom began his coaching career in the SEC as an assistant at the University of Alabama, and in 2004 he became the first African American head coach in SEC history when he took over as coach of the Mississippi State football program. Croom coached the Bulldogs for five seasons with limited success. He won three games in each of his first three seasons, but blossomed in 2007 with an 8-5 campaign including an even 4-4 mark in SEC play. The ’07 Bulldogs went on to win the Liberty Bowl in their only bowl appearance of the Croom era, and Croom was named SEC Coach of the Year at season’s end.

Mississippi State regressed to 4-8 in 2008 and Croom was asked to resign at the end of the season. In five seasons in Starkville his teams were a combined 21-38 and 10-30 against SEC foes, never finishing better than third in the SEC West. Croom’s five years at MSU remain his only head coaching experience, but since he was hired in 2004 there have been four more African American head coaches hired in the SEC: Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M- active), Derek Mason (Vanderbilt- active), James Franklin (Vanderbilt) and Joker Phillips (Kentucky).

Coaching History Team Years
Running Backs Coach Tennessee Titans 2013-Present
Running Backs Coach Jacksonville Jaguars 2012
Running Backs Coach St. Louis Rams 2009-2011
Head Coach Mississippi St. Bulldogs 2004-2008
Running Backs Coach Green Bay Packers 2001-2003
Offensive Coordinator Detroit Lions 1997-2000
Running Backs Coach San Diego Chargers 1992-1996
Running Backs Coach Indianapolis Colts 1991
Running Backs Coach Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1987-1990
Inside Linebackers Coach Alabama Crimson Tide 1984-1986
Outside Linebacker Coach Alabama Crimson Tide 1982-1983
Inside Linebackers Coach Alabama Crimson Tide 1977-1981
Graduate Assistant Alabama Crimson Tide 1976
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