By Dominique Drewery
Our Hornet’s football program has been at the bottom of the MEAC for many years. The 2012 season was the last time the Hornets had a winning record. The lack of success has led to three coaches being dismissed in the last seven years.
On November 19, the day after the 2017 season ended, head coach, Kenneth Carter, was informed that he would not return after posting a 2-9 record on the season. Carter’s record was 3-30 over three years as head coach. Coach E.J Junior, who served as the defensive line coach over the last two years, has been named the interim head coach.
The university also fired athletic director, Louis Perkins. Perkins has been at the university since 2015. Two months after Carter’s departure, a permanent head coach has not been hired and the situation is causing some tension.
Trouble has been brewing for the Delaware State Hornets. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Delaware_State_Hornets_wordmark.svg
The football program has obviously been unproductive, but all the blame could not be placed on Coach Carter. The athletic department has also played a part in the failure of the football program and continues to fall short of correcting its mistakes. The interim athletic director, Mary Hill, and the athletic department owe it to the football players and to other student athletes to become the foundation of stability.
After two months, the athletic department doesn’t have a permanent athletic director nor a head coach to lead the football program. For any athletic program to be coach-less for two months is unacceptable.
Many of the football players are looking at the athletic departments for answers and they have not been addressed. Junior defensive lineman, Caleb Hebron, is one of those players. He served as a captain this past season and is one of the team’s leaders. “They’re putting us in a hard position as a group of young men. We deserve to know who’s going to be taking care of us. I know they have to go through a process, but the time it’s taking is embarrassing.” Hebron told The Hornet.
The months without a coach will affect recruiting as well. The head coach conducts a fair amount of the recruiting and without a coach, signing high quality players will be even more challenging. Without high quality players, it will be harder to win, and winning football games is the biggest dilemma facing the football program.
The Hornets need a coach to be considered competitive in the upcoming season.
The athletic department is not solving the issues that face the football program by prolonging the process of hiring a head coach. Despite the unfavorable situation the football players are in, they are seeing the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Players are taking it upon themselves to bond, grow and work more as a team. Hebron also said, “It’s difficult at times, but it gives us, as players, the opportunity to work and grow together as a unit because we have to police ourselves.” Sophomore offensive lineman, Cade Pedro, also believes the team can benefit from this setback. “I feel that not having a coach gives the players a chance to step up and take control of the team. It allows us to create leadership and show responsibility.” The football players refuse to be slowed down by the athletic department’s lack of regency.
Whenever the athletic department finally hires a head coach, he will oversee a hard-working team eager to win. Hopefully the wait will pay off and our new football head coach will be the face of a winning program this university deserves. With most of the talent returning, the players have high expectation for themselves regardless of the head coaching situation. We will get to see a glimpse of the new head coach when the football team reports for spring practice at the beginning of March.