JACKSON – Jackson State University’s Division of Athletics has removed the interim tag from John Hendrick’s title on Wednesday afternoon, making him the 20th head football coach in school history.
“John Hendrick is a veteran who has proven his ability to provide the type of leadership that is required for our football program,” said Ashley Robinson, JSU Vice President and Director of Athletics.
“Coach Hendrick has a vision for his offense. He will hire a proven offensive mind that will install an exciting and up-tempo offense. Fans will enjoy the points lighting up the scoreboard that will remind us all of the glory days. Beyond that, Coach Hendrick is a master-motivator, an experienced play-caller, a great defensive technician and, most importantly, puts the welfare of student-athletes above all else.”
Hendrick was named to the interim role on Oct. 28 and guided the Tigers to a 2-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference record and was one win away from earning a berth in the SWAC championship game. He led the Tigers to a 34-28 win over Prairie View A&M and a dominating 20-2 effort over Alabama State.
No stranger to the SWAC, Hendrick has more than 30 years of coaching and playing experience. He served at Alabama State football during the 2015 season and then again as the special teams/defensive ends coach in 2012-13. In addition to coaching at Alabama State, he was also the special team’s coach at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Previously, the coaching veteran spent the 2011 season as special teams/defensive line coach at Tulane after spending the 2008-09 seasons at the University of South Florida in a similar capacity.
Hendrick served as the defensive coordinator at South Carolina State University in 2007 and before that, he was the head coach at Benedict College from 2003-06. While at South Carolina State, the Bulldogs’ defense held opponents to 19.6 points and 287.1 yards per game. They also intercepted 11 passes, forced 19 fumbles, recovered 11 fumbles and collected 17 sacks. SC State finished the 2007 season with a 7-4 record, including outscoring opponents 138-49 in three consecutive victories to close the season.
As the head coach at Benedict, the Tigers’ defensive units were nationally ranked in NCAA Division II all four years. In addition, he produced a nearly 90 percent team graduation rate.
The University of Pittsburgh graduate began his coaching career as the outside linebacker’s coach at Delaware State University in 1983. He then went on to spend two seasons (1984-85) at his alma mater coaching the offensive line before serving in the same capacity at Southern University in 1986.
Hendrick spent two seasons (1987-88) as the offensive line coach at Texas A&M University and spent another two seasons at LSU (1989-90), coaching offensive tackles and tight ends. He entered the NFL coaching ranks in 1991 in the NFL Fellowship Program and also served as the defensive line coach at Kansas State. From 1993-94, he served as the associate head coach/defensive line coach at Temple University.
Hendrick coached in the pros for a second time as a member of the NFL Fellowship Program with the Philadelphia Eagles before an eight-year stint at Mississippi State University (1995-2002) as the defensive line/special teams coach.
While at MSU, Hendrick proved to be an integral part of the Bulldogs’ rise to lead the nation in total defense and rushing defense in 1999. Under his guidance, MSU’s first line defense allowed only 222.5 yards in opponent total offense and 66.9 yards of rushing offense. MSU’s defense led the Southeastern Conference in every category.