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 HistoryTeamYears
Running Backs CoachTennessee Titans2013-Present
Running Backs CoachJacksonville Jaguars2012
Running Backs CoachSt. Louis Rams2009-2011
Head CoachMississippi St. Bulldogs2004-2008
Running Backs CoachGreen Bay Packers2001-2003
Offensive CoordinatorDetroit Lions1997-2000
Running Backs CoachSan Diego Chargers1992-1996
Running Backs CoachIndianapolis Colts1991
Running Backs CoachTampa Bay Buccaneers1987-1990
Inside Linebackers CoachAlabama Crimson Tide1984-1986
Outside Linebacker CoachAlabama Crimson Tide1982-1983
Inside Linebackers CoachAlabama Crimson Tide1977-1981
Graduate AssistantAlabama Crimson Tide1976

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