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Ed Reed Says He Rejected Jackson State for Bethune-Cookman HC Job That Fell Through

Doric SamJanuary 24, 2023

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 23: Ed Reed looks on during the game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons on December 23, 2022 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Prior to his contract breakdown with Bethune-Cookman, Ed Reed says he had another offer on the table to coach at an HBCU.

Reed told Roland Martin that he turned down the opportunity to replace Deion Sanders as head coach at Jackson State in order to accept the position at Bethune-Cookman. Reed said Sanders called him personally to advocate for him taking the position.

Reed also mentioned the opening at Grambling State before his representative explained that he accepted the Bethune-Cookman position for a variety of reasons, including the school's location in South Florida.

Bethune-Cookman hired Reed on Dec. 27 to replace Terry Sims, who coached the Wildcats for seven seasons. The team is coming off a 2-9 campaign, which included a 2-6 record in the SWAC.

Things took a turn when Reed revealed that the university chose not to ratify his contract, ending his tenure after just 25 days. The Pro Football Hall of Famer had openly criticized the conditions of the school's athletic facilities, and he vociferously expressed his displeasure over his dismissal in a video posted to his Instagram.

While Reed was addressing the Bethune-Cookman players, Sanders FaceTimed him and praised him despite the unfortunate ending to his time with the team.

"I know what you feeling. I know what you going through. You've got to understand that God has a time and a place for you, my brother," Sanders told Reed. "I know your heart. I know everything that's going on inside of you. I know you like a book. And I know how you feel about them kids, and I know you do not want to leave those kids."

Sanders departed Jackson State to accept the head coaching position at Colorado in December. He coached the Tigers to a 27-6 record, including back-to-back undefeated seasons in SWAC play.

In hindsight, Reed would have been better served joining an established team like Jackson State instead of a rebuilding program.