Hue Jackson has not had much success as a head coach. That is what makes his most recent move rather confusing and petty.
Jackson, who coached 18 years in the NFL, served as the head coach of the Raiders for one season and spent three years in the same role with the Browns. While in Oakland, his team went 8-8. Over three years in Cleveland, his team went 3-36-1.
Now, after some time away from the game, Jackson is back to coaching. The 56-year-old served as the offensive coordinator at Tennessee State under Eddie George last fall and is currently at the helm of Grambling State.
There has been a significant push amongst HBCUs to hire big-name, program-changing, culture-defining coaches that started with Deion Sanders at Jackson State. Jackson is part of that wave, and is coaching a collegiate program for the first time ever after being hired in December.
However, his team is not finding any success early in his first year.
Grambling lost to Arkansas State by 55 to begin the season. It then beat Northwestern State, but got smacked by Coach Prime’s squad. Most recently, Grambling lost to a winless Bethune-Cookman by three possessions.
During the Week 4 loss, the Tigers’ uniforms looked a little different. Where the school’s signature ‘G’ logo would typically be brandished on the helmets, it was not.
Hue Jackson removed Grambling State’s ‘G’ logo from its football helmets.
For the first time in years, Grambling State football took the field without its helmet logo last weekend. The helmets were just black. No logo.
The order to remove the ‘G’ came from the head coach.
Jackson indicated that players needed to earn the right to wear the logo. The Tigers failed to meet expectations and can only earn the right to wear it again if they can show improvement.
There is some irony, hypocrisy, and humor here.
Jackson is saying that his players must earn the right to wear the logo. That is well and good, however, it is something that coaches usually do during camp. Rarely, if ever, has a team “lost the right” to wear the team logo during the season. Seems pretty bush league.
In addition, and perhaps more importantly, what has Jackson done?! If his players don’t have the right to wear the logo, why does he?!
Through 60 games as a head coach, he has won just 12. And in the last 10 years, his record sits at 4-39.
There is no denying that Jackson is a good coach. Definitely not a great coach, but it’s fair to say that he is a good one. He saw a few solid years of success in coordinator and position coach roles with Cincinnati, Baltimore and Washington. But as a head coach— not so much.
What has he earned that his players haven’t? Isn’t his job to get the players up to standard?! Isn’t it his job to have his team ready to play?!
If Grambling players can’t wear the ‘G’ then neither should Hue Jackson. At least until he wins a few games.