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MSU preparing for life after Sherrill

By By Tony Krausz / assistant sports editor
Oct. 21, 2003
STARKVILLE In 1991, Mississippi State University athletic director Larry Templeton brought Jackie Sherrill to the university to turn the Bulldogs football program around.
Sherrill did just that in his 13-tenure at the school. The Bulldogs have gone 75-70-2 since Sherrill arrived, and the program has appeared in six bowl games.
Now, Templeton is searching for a replacement for the coach he hired just over a decade ago.
While MSU's athletic director said he hasn't begun a formal search for a new coach, Templeton told reporters during a press conference Monday that he did have a list of candidates in mind.
Sherrill announced last Friday on MSU's website that he would step down from his coaching position at the conclusion of the 2003 season on Nov. 27, after the Bulldogs annual Egg Bowl contest against Ole Miss. The website posting was accompanied by written statements from Sherrill, Templeton and university president Dr. J. Charles Lee.
Templeton said Sherrill told him last Monday that he wanted to announce his departure from MSU, and that he started getting phone calls from interested parties after the official announcement last Friday.
Templeton would not reveal which names are on his list for potential head coaches, but he did talk about the scrutiny he expects throughout the search. Specifically in the area of minority hiring.
The Southeastern Conference has long been criticized for never having an African-American head coach in its history.
Lee and Templeton said the university will try to hire a new coach as soon as possible after the season ends. Templeton said he would like to hire a new coach between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Along with looking for a new coach, Templeton is also dealing with an ongoing investigation by the NCAA, which announced last month that the organization's preliminary investigation into alleged rules violations by MSU's football program would continue past the original six-month deadline.