Garrett Sanders, Sports Correspondent
John Grass is one of the most prominent head football coaches that Jacksonville State University football has ever had in its 115-year football history. With a 55-14 record in a span of six seasons, one would think his job is safe and secure. However, even with the recent success of Grass, he could be under fire.
Grass has taken the JSU Football program from the dead and has resurrected it into being a feared football program, not just in the OVC, but the FCS as well. He has won five straight Ohio Valley Conference Championships and has made the FCS Playoffs in every year he has coached. So, what’s the big deal? How is Grass’s coaching job in question?
Is it a lack of recruiting talent for JSU? When you have star players like Eli Jenkins, Troymaine Pope, Josh Pearson, Marlon Bridges and recent NFL draftee Siran Neal? There is no issue there.
What about winning games consistently? During Grass’s time at Jacksonville State, he has only lost an Ohio Valley Conference game twice in five years! That’s very impressive for someone of his caliber in coaching, coming from a small FCS school like JSU. So, if recruiting and regularly winning year by year isn’t the issue, what is?
During Grass’s tenure at Jacksonville State, he has made the FCS playoffs all five years he’s been head coach. But what if I told you out of those five years, he has only four career playoff wins?
Out of those five years, Grass has only made it out of the second round of the playoffs one time! That, of course, was the year JSU went on to a deep playoff run and were runners-up to the eventual National Champion North Dakota State in 2015.
Grass, to say the least, has had trouble making a deep playoff run throughout his five years at JSU, but there is also one more significant factor that has recently caught the attention of JSU fans everywhere. That is the fact that Grass has struggled in the past 11 games. He has gone 7-4 and keep in mind that a regular season in the FCS is 11 games.
During Grass’s five years at JSU, he has never lost more than three games in an 11 game FCS regular season. These past 11 games are certainly not the norm for JSU football. Perhaps this is a step in the wrong direction.
Greg Seitz has been very patient with Grass and the JSU football program during the time Grass has been at JSU, but with the recent track record, tables could be turning if Grass doesn’t start producing wins regularly that JSU is accustomed to seeing.
With the recent controversial football hype video that has gone viral, it seems the football program has lost control of its class act. Not to mention the fact that JSU has been making heavily careless mistakes on the football field. This comes from a general lack of discipline on the team.
Winning is a significant factor in what makes JSU football flow. However, with the recent “downfall” of JSU’s football program, it could be time for Greg Seitz to pull the plug on Grass.
On the other hand, Grass could start winning and this discussion could be irrelevant. But until the wins start coming in, we must ask the question, “Is John Grass in the hot seat?”
Let the debates begin!