January 30, 2009
Former Mississippi State football coach Sylvester Croom is headed back to the National Football League.
After spending the past five years at Mississippi State, Croom agreed Thursday to take a position as running backs coach with the St. Louis Rams.
It will not be the first time Croom has coached running backs in the NFL. He coached the running backs in Green Bay (2001-03), San Diego (1992-96), Indianapolis (1991), and Tampa Bay (1987-90).
He was the offensive coordinator in Detroit from 1997-2000.
In all, he spent 17 years as an assistant coach in the NFL.
When he took the head coaching job at Mississippi State on Dec. 1, 2003, Croom was the first African-American head coach in the Southeastern Conference.
He went 21-38 as Mississippi State''s coach before resigning on Nov. 29, the day after the Bulldogs lost 45-0 to the Ole Miss Rebels in their season finale.
Croom was chosen the SEC Coach of the Year after he led the Bulldogs to an eight-win regular season. Mississippi State then beat Central Florida in the Liberty Bowl.
This season, though, Mississippi State slipped to 4-8.
"It was a great experience for me, and I''m not severing my ties with Mississippi State," Croom told ESPN.com. "I still have many friends there both inside and outside the program and think the future is very bright. We were on the right track. I have no doubt about that. But I look forward now to moving onto other areas of my life."
1. Waiting for the really hot weather LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Owls sweep Hendrix in 'Strikeout Cancer' doubleheader COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Florida halts MSU's win streak at 14 with 4-2 victory COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Bulldogs' run ends with loss to Vols; NCAAs next HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS