Jackie Sherrill: Wikis


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Jackie Sherrill
Sport Football
Born November 28, 1943 (1943-11-28) (age 66)
Place of birth Duncan, OK
Career highlights
Overall 180-120-4
Bowls 8-6
Coaching stats
College Football DataWarehouse
Playing career
1962-1965 Alabama
Position FB / LB
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Washington State
Texas A&M
Mississippi State

Jackie Sherrill (born November 28, 1943, in Duncan, Oklahoma) is a former college football head coach. During his 26 years as a head coach, Sherrill amassed a record of 180–120–4. He is currently a studio analyst for Fox Sports Net's college football coverage, as well as a writer for Texags.com.


Playing career

Sherrill played for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide under Bear Bryant from 1962 to 1965, helping Alabama win two national championships.

Coaching career


Washington State

Sherrill was the head coach at Washington State in 1976. During his one season at the Pullman campus, the Cougars won three games and lost eight.

University of Pittsburgh

Sherrill was the head coach at the University of Pittsburgh from 1977 to 1981. Before going to Washington State, Sherrill had served as an assistant at Pittsburgh under head coach Johnny Majors. When Majors left Pittsburgh to return to his alma mater at the University of Tennessee, Sherrill returned to become the head coach of the Panthers. He is credited with grooming quarterback Dan Marino, who went on to a prolific Hall of Fame career in the NFL after being Sherrill's last quarterback at Pitt, from 1979–1982. During his tenure, Sherrill's coaching staff included future NFL head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt. In Sherrill's five seasons at Pittsburgh, the Panthers won 50 games, lost nine, and had one tie.

When asked about retirement, Joe Paterno once said that he would not, because it would leave college football in the hands of "the Jackie Sherrills and the Barry Switzers".[1] Sherill had previously called the Paterno residence after midnight and had insulted Paterno's wife, Sue, and threatened to find and injure Paterno, in response to a recruiting incident.[2] Paterno apologized to Switzer for the comment, but wrote in his book that he "didnt give a damn about what Sherrill felt." [3] Paterno later said that the comment was made off-the-record and in jest during a party at Paterno's house, but it was printed anyway. Sherrill and Paterno have since become friends, and Sherrill and his wife were guests of the Paternos in State College in 2004. Notably, Sherrill went 2-3 in five games leading Pitt against Penn State, including a 48-14 loss in 1981 that destroyed Pitt's chances at a second national championship in five years.[4]

Texas A&M

Sherrill was hired on January 19, 1982 as replacement for Tom Wilson, signing a record six-year contract over $1.7 million.[5] Sherrill was the head coach at Texas A&M University from 1982 to 1988. While head coach at A&M Sherrill started the tradition of the "12th Man Kickoff Team", this tradition is still observed by A&M today only in a significantly scaled back form, including a single walk-on rather than an entire return team unit. In his seven seasons as the coach of the Aggies, Texas A&M won 52 games, lost 28, and had one tie. Texas A&M won three consecutive Southwest Conference championships under Sherrill, in 1985, 1986 and 1987. As a result, the Aggies played in the Cotton Bowl Classic at the end of each season, defeating Auburn University 36–16 on January 1, 1986 and Notre Dame 35–10 on January 1, 1988, and losing to Ohio State University 28–12 on January 1, 1987. He is also one of the few coaches to leave Texas A&M with a winning record against the Longhorns, winning his last five against UT after losing his first two.

In 1988, Sherrill's Aggies were put under probation by the NCAA for a period of two years. Violations included improper employment, extra benefits, unethical conduct and lack of institutional control.[6][7] In December 1988, Sherrill resigned.

Mississippi State University

After three years away from the game, Sherrill was hired as head coach at Mississippi State University in 1991. He took over a program that hadn't had a winning season since 1986 (and had won a total of 14 games in that stretch) and hadn't had a winning record in Southeastern Conference play since 1981. Sherrill began his Mississippi State career with an upset victory over a familiar foe from his A&M days, the Texas Longhorns (who were the defending Southwest Conference champions).

In thirteen seasons in Starkville, Sherrill coached the Bulldogs to a record of 75–75–2. His 75 wins are the most in school history. He led the team to an SEC West title in 1998, and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. A year later, he notched a 10–2 record and #12 final ranking. That #12 ranking was the highest final ranking achieved by any NCAA Division I-A school in Mississippi in over 30 years. Sherrill, along with Bill Snyder of Kansas State, were among the first to use the rich JUCO systems of Kansas and Mississippi to help their programs progress.

Although Sherrill won only seven games in his last three seasons, he built Mississippi State into a consistent winner despite playing in the same division as powerhouses like Alabama, Auburn and LSU. He also finished with a winning record against in-state rival Ole Miss (7–6).

Sherrill also achieved notoriety by castrating a bull during a team practice as a motivational technique prior to a game versus Texas. It worked, as unranked Mississippi State beat the #13 ranked Longhorns.[8]

Sherrill retired after the 2003 season, which was followed by the NCAA levying probation for four years on the program.[9] Despite a prolonged 3 year investigation by the NCAA, Mississippi State was not found guilty of any major violations, and Sherrill was never personally found guilty of any NCAA rules violations at either Mississippi State or Texas A&M.

Sherrill has an ongoing lawsuit against the NCAA, Rich Johanningmeier (the principle NCAA investigator in the MSU probation), and Julie Gibert (a female Ole Miss booster), alleging 18 counts of wrongdoing. Among the allegations include charges that the NCAA defamed him and conspired to drive him out of coaching, that the NCAA investigator had an improper relationship with the female Ole Miss booster, that Johanningmeier was unethically influenced by the female Ole Miss booster in his investigation of MSU, and that they conspired to fabricate NCAA charges against him. [1] [2] [3] [4]

Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl Coaches# AP°
Washington State Cougars (Pacific 8 Conference) (1976–1976)
1976 Washington State 3-8-0 2-5-0
Washington State: 3-8-0 2-5-0
Pittsburgh Panthers (Independent) (1977–1981)
1977 Pittsburgh 9-2-1 W Gator Bowl 7 8
1978 Pittsburgh 8-4-0 L Tangerine Bowl
1979 Pittsburgh 11-1-0 W Fiesta Bowl 6 7
1980 Pittsburgh 11-1-0 W Gator Bowl 2 2
1981 Pittsburgh 11-1-0 W Sugar Bowl 2 4
Pittsburgh: 50-9-1
Texas A&M Aggies (Southwest Conference) (1982–1988)
1982 Texas A&M 5-6-0 3-5-0 T-6th
1983 Texas A&M 5-5-1 4-3-1 T-3rd
1984 Texas A&M 6-5-0 3-5-0 7th
1985 Texas A&M 10-2-0 7-1-0 1st W Cotton Bowl Classic 6 6
1986 Texas A&M 9-3-0 7-1-0 1st L Cotton Bowl Classic 12 13
1987 Texas A&M 10-2-0 6-1-0 1st W Cotton Bowl Classic 9 10
1988 Texas A&M 7-5-0 6-1-0 2nd
Texas A&M: 52-28-1 36-17-1
Mississippi State Bulldogs (Southeastern Conference) (1991–2003)
1991 Mississippi State 7-5-0 4-3-0 T-4th L Liberty Bowl
1992 Mississippi State 7-5-0 4-4-0 3rd (West) L Peach Bowl 23
1993 Mississippi State 4-5-2 3-4-1 4th (West)
1994 Mississippi State 8-4-0 5-3-0 2nd (West) L Peach Bowl 25 24
1995 Mississippi State 3-8-0 1-7-0 4th (West)
1996 Mississippi State 5-6-0 3-5-0 4th (West)
1997 Mississippi State 7-4-0 4-4-0 T-3rd (West)
1998 Mississippi State 8-5-0 6-2-0 T-1st (West) L Cotton Bowl Classic
1999 Mississippi State 10-2-0 6-2-0 2nd (West) W Peach Bowl 12 13
2000 Mississippi State 8-4-0 4-4-0 T-3rd (West) W Independence Bowl 22 24
2001 Mississippi State 3-8-0 2-6-0 6th (West)
2002 Mississippi State 3-9-0 0-8-0 5th (West)
2003 Mississippi State 2-10-0 1-7-0 5th (West)
Mississippi State: 75-75-2 43-59-1
Total: 180-120-4
      National Championship         Conference Title         Conference Division Title
Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jim Sweeney
Washington State University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Warren Powers
Preceded by
Johnny Majors
University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Foge Fazio
Preceded by
Vince Dooley
Walter Camp Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Jerry Stovall
Preceded by
Tom Wilson
Texas A&M Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
R. C. Slocum
Preceded by
Rockey Felker
Mississippi State University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by
Sylvester Croom


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