Citing personal and health reasons, Savannah State head football coach Robby Wells has resigned on January 28. “At this point I have to think about my family and my health before I can think about anything else. I wish the players well as they pursue their dreams on and off the field. My thoughts and prayers will be with them as they continue to progress in their collegiate career,” Wells said in a written statement issued by the University. He was 7-15 in his two years, including 2-8 in 2009. Defensive coordinator Julius Dixon has been named interim head coach, and interim athletics director Marilynn Suggs says a nationwide search will begin for a new coach.
Tigers Fall To NC
Patrick Hardy’s 3-pointer with 3:59 tied the score at 58 but Savannah State did not score another field goal as the Tigers dropped a 65-60 decision at North Carolina Central on February 6. SSU led 59-58 with 3:20 left but were outscored 7-1 down the stretch. The loss guarantees SSU (9-14) a losing season. Rashad Hassan had 14 points while Tracy Rankins and Louis Arnold scored 11 and Hardy added 10.
SSU Women Down
New Jersey Tech
Crissa Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left to give Savannah State a 52-51 lead and then hit two free throws with nine seconds remaining to send the Lady Tigers to a 54-51 overtime win over New Jersey Tech in Tiger Arena on February 6. A layup by SSU’s Carlita Johnson tied the game at 43 with nine seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The win snaps a 13-game losing streak and gives SSU a 9-17 mark. Courtney Long scored 17 for the winners and Kym Stamps added 10.
Wants SSU To Do
I have never been one to jump to conclusions but to have 28 players that will not participate in Spring Practice is devastating when the total number of players on scholarships are few anyway. If I recall something similar happened last year where many of the players didn’t practice for Spring Training. Alert and this is how many coaches over the last 15 years? One would have to assume that if 13 players quit the team that there must be something that the head football coach is not relating to these players, whether it be his lack of football knowledge and how he translate it to the playing field or uncaring “don’t give a damn attitude” displayed continuously without some passion for the hard work the players feel they are contributing daily. Then again, it may not just be the coach.Whatever the case may be, it’s time for Savannah State University to “put up or shut up” and invest in a coach some serious money to hire a Great Coach for the long term progress of this program. On the other hand, I also don’t believe that it is all coaching. The administration and booster clubs share some responsibility as to the overall lack of facilities that SSU has to offer in football. Example, building the new press box that was mandated by code enforcement is one thing, but to attract the kind of athletes to produce a winning program will require SSU to build a new stadium in its current location with concrete seating on both sides of the field and a state of the art building that consist of meeting rooms, class rooms and a weight room overlooking the south end zone. It behooves SSU to demonstrate that they are serious about its football program and athletes. For too long now has SSU taken a back seat to invest into its football program and it has caused pain and detriment to its players, coaches, alumni, administration and boosters who deserve better.
It’s has been 29 years since I first step foot onto SSU campus in 1981 to play football under Coach Frank Ellis Jr. and that stadium was out dated then and even more so now. I currently have a set of plans for this stadium when it was designed and built in 1958. It’s the most common problem that most alumni and those that want to contribute have with the program. It’s an eye sore and it hurts SSU more than help. Please administration and boosters club, if you want to create a winning program get serious about investing into the facilities. Create an Endowment that can grow over time so we can contribute to have a completely new stadium built or start a fund to have so one can contribute towards a new stadium. I am shocked that nothing has been implemented since I first step foot on campus. Do something and stop sitting your hands. At least Coach Ellis treated the players and staff with respect and dignity and he accommodated the players to the best hotels and food that money could buy at that time and with the resources available to him. He experience the withholding of resources for years to coach a team when he and the players deserved better and it’s still going on in the form of facilities.
Havard Seldon, Jr.