In Starkville

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Just got to the Bryan Building. Sylvester Croom will not be made available today. Here is the official press release with comments from Croom. More later.

Heck, here’s the entire release:

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University?s Sylvester Croom announced Saturday his immediate resignation as the school?s head football coach.

“Five years ago, Mississippi State gave me the unprecedented opportunity to be a head football coach in the Southeastern Conference and to build a program based upon a strong foundation,” Croom said. “I want to thank (then-president) Dr. Charles Lee and (then-athletic director) Larry Templeton for that opportunity. I also want to thank the assistant coaches and all the players who had faith and trust in me. We have tried to build a program the right way that can compete for conference championships. I believe the foundation has been set for those goals to be reached under the leadership of someone else, and it was my decision to resign.”

Croom concluded his fifth season as Mississippi State?s head coach in 2008 with a 21-38 overall record. He inherited a program coming off three straight losing seasons, one that was on probation for NCAA recruiting violations. Following losing seasons in his first three years as head coach at State, Croom guided the Bulldogs to eight wins in ?07, including a victory over Central Florida in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. This past season, however, the Bulldogs finished the year 4-8, the school?s fourth losing season under Croom.

“As we have said was our intention throughout this year, Coach Croom and I met following yesterday’s season-ending game with Ole Miss to discuss the football program,” Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said. “We discussed the football program and many topics were addressed, including resignation. I want to thank Coach Croom for the leadership he has provided our football program over the last five years.”

Mississippi State will begin its search for a new head football coach immediately. All current assistant football coaches remain under contract and will continue performing their duties until the new head coach is hired.

“I have great respect for Coach Croom and his decision,” incoming MSU President Mark Keenum said.  “He took over our football program during a difficult time and accepted the challenge head-on.  From that first day until today, he performed his duties with great class and the highest integrity that is reflective of the character of this fine man.   I join the entire Mississippi State family in thanking Coach Croom for his service to our university and wishing him the best in his future endeavors.

“Looking forward,” Keenum continued, “I plan to work closely with Athletic Director Greg Byrne to move quickly, but with due deliberation, to find a new head football coach with high energy and a commitment to compete for championships and bowl opportunities in the best conference in America.”

“Coach Croom instilled in our football program a level of academic commitment, good sportsmanship, and good citizenship that represents our institution well,” Interim President Dr. Roy H. Ruby said. “The Mississippi State family wishes only the best for Coach Croom and his family.”

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12 Responses to “In Starkville”

  1. olemsufan Says:

    Wow. Im shocked in a good way.
    i have faith in Director of Athletics Greg Byrne & incoming MSU President Mark Keenum to make a good hire.
    I wish Coach Croom the best.
    i hope most of our Recruits stay with us. Im sure Greg is calling them all.

  2. darkcooger Says:

    I’m excited about the future for Mississippi State football, but I’m simultaneously heartbroken for Coach Croom. I wanted so badly for him to be a successful head coach, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I really like and respect him, and I appreciate many of the things he did for this program. I also want to throw in my best wishes for everything he does in the future. (As long as he doesn’t wind up at Alabama, in which case I wish him dismal failure!)

  3. imabulldog Says:

    I wish him the best, love the man. Just feel like we caught him on his way out of coaching, when the fire was going out

  4. dadawg Says:

    Sylvester Croom is a man of honor. It was time. I respect him but MSU needs a head coach whose career is ahead of him. Best wishes to Coach Croom and his family. We have a young energetic AD and President and our future is exciting.

    GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. goldendawg Says:

    I concur 100% darkcooger. I am pleased for the football program but hate it for Coach Croom. It was time for him to go. Maybe he wasn’t the best coach in the world, but he was a good man which matters a lot more in the grand scheme of things.

  6. jcdawgman18 Says:

    Greg can’t talk to the recruits. We will lose some because of this. No point in denying it.

  7. farley662 Says:

    Why does it matter if we lose recruits? Croom would have ruined them anyhow. We were gonna lose recruits after the respectable, doing it the right way by getting our rear ends handed to us season we just had.

  8. 2thdoc Says:

    We might lose some but will gain some on the offensive side of the ball if the right hire is made.

  9. bantyrooster1 Says:

    Bryne can talk to recruits now that he’s registered with NCAA as a legal recruiter. Go hire Dooley from LA Tech.

  10. joekstewart Says:

    We need an offensive guy as HC but also more importantly we need a proven Defensive coach. So we need to spend big. Get your check books out.

  11. bcdog Says:

    Sylvester Croom was a class act and that will be his great contribution to MSU. I appreciate his loyalty, even though it was his loyalty to his OC that cost him his job (ESPN’s blog on this is great). He is exactly the kind of a man you want your kid to play for. I wish him the best and am grateful for the cleanup that he did–as Byrne said–rightfully so–leaving MSU in much better shape than he found it; even if not in the win/loss shape that most of us hoped for. Thanks Coach.

  12. bantyrooster1 Says:

    Yeah, thanks coach now leave.

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