Jack Crowe is out after 13 seasons on the sidelines at Jax State. The 2004 Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year compiled an 87-56 record with the Gamecocks.
The arguments can be made on both sides whether the move to release Coach Crowe two years before his contract ran out was right or not.
For starters it’s easy to say that JSU had a good thing with Coach Crowe and that it should be left alone. Crowe was the winning active coach in the Ohio Valley Conference at the conclusion of this season with a 73-28 (.658) record. That’s comfortably ahead of the next coach, Dean Hood of Eastern Kentucky, with a 34-23 (.596) record.
Coach Crowe’s 87 wins ranked second on the school’s all-time list behind only Don Sall’s 95 wins. A strong season in 2013 may have put Coach Crowe over the mark to take the top spot, but that’s just the problem, it seems in the past JSU has fallen short of goals and expectations of the sort, and it appears the athletics’ department has finally decided to resort to large scale changes to try and fix that situation.
While Coach Crowe did enjoy success at JSU, it says a lot for the program that simply accepting winning seasons with not much more afterwards is no longer acceptable and that the Gamecocks have a higher standard than just that now.
Coach Crowe helped bring Jacksonville State’s football program up to a certain level, a successful level, and any true Gamecock fan who doesn’t get caught up in recent let downs will admit that Crowe was a huge asset to JSU. But it has shown in those let down recent years that Crowe may not be the coach to take JSU to that ‘next’ level, and apparently it’s now time to find that coach who can.
Maybe the largest critique against Crowe was his seemingly inability to win big games consistently. Against FCS ranked teams JSU went 7-20 under Crowe, and in the 13 years only reached the playoffs three times, never winning a single postseason game. Still, it will never be forgotten that Crowe brought one of the largest wins in program history, possibly second behind the 1992 Div. II national championship game win, when his Gamecocks shocked the college football world on the opening weekend of the 2010 season beating SEC Ole Miss 49-48 in double overtime.
Coach Crowe won three OVC championships from the time JSU joined the conference in 2003. His released was announce Friday, November 30, late at night by Athletic Director Warren Koegel.
After his comments on Crowe, Koegel stated that the search for the programs 13th coach would be underway immediately. The FCS playoffs expand from 20 teams to 24 teams next season, and the Gamecocks want to be in the field.
Jack Crowe’s debut for JSU came on September 2, 2000 in Tampa, FL where the Gamecocks were shutout by South Florida 40-0. Crowe’s first win came the following week against Nicholls State. His finale was a few weeks ago in the same state as his debut, in Gainesville against the Florida Gators where this time the Gamecocks were again shutout, for the first time in 133 games, in a 23-0 loss.