Croom takes MSU job; Ross next at Duke?

Former Lions offensive coordinator becomes first African-American head coach in Southeastern Conference history. Former Lions head coach Bobby Ross could be next. Ross is on a list of finalists for the vacant Duke University head coaching job

Former Lions offensive coordinator Sylvester Croom was named head coach of Mississippi State University and is expected to be introduced at a press conference today in Starkville.

Croom replaces Jackie Sherrill who left the program in disarray after three straight losing seasons and possible NCAA recruiting violations, but none of that detered Croom who was rebuffed at his first choice, his alma mater Alabama which instead hired relatively inexperienced Mike Shula.

"We went after the best football coach and we're confident we found that individual in Sylvester Croom," said Mississippi State athletic director Mike Templeton.

While Croom will be introduced today, it is unclear if Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman will release Croom to take the new job immediately. If not, Croom will be put behind the eight ball and forced to play catch up during the intense and very competitive recruiting season.

Meanwhile, former Lions head coach Bobby Ross is ready to resume coaching and is on a short list of candidates to become the top man at Duke University.

Ross resigned in mid-season and turned the reigns of the Detroit Lions over to assistant Gary Moeller, now with the Chicago Bears. Detroit narrowly missed the playoffs after losing to the Bears in the season final game.

That resulted in Matt Millen's hiring and the three year free-fall for the Detroit franchise.

Ross says that "blood clots" in his leg caused much of his frustration and that is those problems have been resolved. He further says he wants to get back into coaching if someone would give him a chance.

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