Through seven games this season, Eddie George has led Tennessee State to a 5-2 record. The mark not only is the Tigers’ best mark this late in a season since the 2016 campaign but also is the best record the team has enjoyed in the George era.
The Tigers head coach said the team’s ascension is proceeding along as it should, saying this when asked about the program’s progress on a recent Big South-OVC Media Call:
“We are right where we are supposed to be and it’s not based on our record. It’s based on what we believe in and how we approach each and every day [and] our work ethic, mindset, tenacity, and leadership. I never had a schedule to say, ‘Okay by year four we want to be undefeated’, I think it’s just in terms of how we approach each day and our daily language amongst each other. Is it constructive? Is it building people up? Am I creating an environment where we are pushing each other and it is accountability across the board? That’s how I gauge it and it’s showing up on the field and it’s paying off. Are we a close team? Are we building relationships? I know that sounds cliche but that’s the foundation of where I am. We still have to recruit better; we are still not the most talented team. We just have to work hard and continue to show up and continue to get better so based on that, I think we are right on schedule of where this team needs to be.”
Since Coach George notably weighed in on the subject two weeks ago, the in-game attendance, or lack thereof, has been a subject of talk across the HBCU sporting diaspora. However, George said that his concern is more about what happens on the gridiron and not the number of posteriors in the seats.
“Whether it’s 1 person or 100,000, we want to play to that and use it to our advantage. We have to just generate our own energy and that’s the opportunity I see. I understand that we have the challenge of putting people in the stands and that’s ok. I now shift my focus to putting a product on the field that people want to see and that’s where I’m going to put my focus, attention, and intention and not worry about who shows up. If we have 8 passionate fans, that is awesome as long as they are engaged and supporting our team. I’d rather have 8 passionate, enthusiastic fans than 80,000 lukewarm and that’s kind of how I feel about it.
Tennessee State enters Big South-OVC play Saturday afternoon when they play host to the Lions of Lindenwood.