Eddie George Says Jeff Fisher Talked Him into Accepting Tennessee State HC Job

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 14, 2021

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15:  Eddie George of the Tennessee Titans points to the fans during the halftime ceremony to have his number retired during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Nashville,Tennessee.   (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Eddie George turned back the clock to his playing days when seeking advice on whether he should accept the Tennessee State football head coaching job.

Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk noted the four-time Pro Bowler decided to accept the position after speaking with his former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher.

"I was still very lukewarm on the idea of taking the opportunity," George said. "I was probably at a 30 percent chance I would do it at that point … I said, 'Hey man, I want to talk to you about this. Listen to this ridiculous idea: I just got approached with this opportunity to coach at TSU.'"

Fisher told George he believes the running back "would be awesome," which convinced George to accept the job.

"Jeff drafted me in 1996," George said. "We went on an amazing run here in Tennessee. And he knows how to push my buttons. I tell you I was ready to run through a brick wall when I got off the phone with him. I said, Let’s do it."

George was a Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State and entered the NFL as a first-round pick of the Houston Oilers in the 1996 NFL draft.

He played nine years in the NFL for the Oilers/Titans and Dallas Cowboys, eight of which came with Fisher as his head coach. George was the 1996 Offensive Rookie of the Year and helped lead the Titans to the Super Bowl during the 1999 campaign.

Tennessee State announced the hiring on Tuesday:

Tennessee State University @TSUedu

TSU welcomes former All Pro TN Titan and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George as head football coach. Go Big Blue! #continuingthelegacy pic.twitter.com/KKo32MwY0m

The Tigers were just 2-5 during their most recent season and haven't made the FCS playoffs since 2013. George is replacing Ron Reed, who was with the school since 2010.

He is the latest in a line of former NFL players who accepted head coaching positions in the FCS.

Ed McCaffrey became the head coach of North Colorado in December 2019, and Jackson State notably hired Deion Sanders to become its head coach.

While George does not have head coaching experience, he is familiar with the state of Tennessee from his playing days and figures to resonate with recruits given his NFL career.