Several NFL Alumni Return To Coach At Historically Black Schools
It was with great fanfare last October that Deion Sanders was announced as the new head coach at Jackson State University in Mississippi. The news brought well-deserved attention to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the tremendous football legacy those schools have.
Two other NFL alums also made headlines in recent weeks when they were announced as volunteer football coaches at Tennessee State University (TSU), another of the prestigious HBCU programs.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who starred at TSU (2004-07), and Peerless Price, the outstanding wide receiver who played (1995-98) at the University of Tennessee across the state in Knoxville, have joined the TSU staff for the spring season in a further testimony to the resurgence in popularity of HBCU football.
”I am excited for Dominque and Peerless to be part of our staff,” says TSU Head Coach Rod Reed. “Their expertise has been very helpful to our team. It means a lot to have them around our guys with all their collegiate and NFL experience. They bring a wealth of knowledge, execution, and film work.”
Price ended his NFL career in Buffalo in 2007 after being the team’s second-round draft pick nearly a decade earlier. The 44-year old Price earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology last May at Tennessee State and was very impressed with the football program.
“I just feel like I need to invest and prepare the next generation of young people,” says Price, “and I want to get them ready for the game of life. I want to show them what it takes for them to be not only a successful athlete but a successful human being.”
Coach Cro, as the TSU players are calling Rodgers-Cromartie, is working primarily with the defensive backs. He played for six different NFL teams over his 12 seasons which ended in 2019. The 34-year old former cornerback was the Cardinals first pick in the 2008 Draft.
“I’m loving every bit of this assignment,“ Rogers-Cromartie said recently. “It’s like I’m watching myself out there grinding, trying to get an education and balling all over again. I see a few me’s out there on the field.”
The delayed TSU 2020-21 season starts this Sunday, February 21 when the Tigers host Jacksonville State in Nashville.
We at NFL Alumni wish all the HBCU programs a safe and successful season and congratulate you NFL alumni, including Peerless Price and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who are giving back to help bolster collegiate athletic programs across the country.