Mississippi State’s Sylvester Croom has swept the two most recognized Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year honors, it was announced today.
Croom, who led the Bulldogs to a 7-5 record and their first bowl berth since 2000, was named coach of the year by his peers and by the Associated Press.
State won seven of its last 11 games after a 45-0 loss to then-No. 2 LSU in the season-opener. High-profile wins against Alabama, Auburn and Kentucky followed, as did a come-from-behind win over Ole Miss in the Nov. 23 Egg Bowl that clinched the team’s first bowl berth since 2000.
MSU will face Central Florida (10-3) in the Dec. 29 AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
“It is a great honor and a tremendous blessing to be named SEC coach of the year by my peers,” Croom said in a statement released by MSU. “To even be considered for such an award by the coaches in this conference is quite special.
“I would like to thank my coaching staff, our players, the MSU administration, and the fans for their support over the past four years, and particularly this season. I especially want to thank the fans for the home field advantage they have created. They had a tremendous affect on the outcome of the games.
“Special praise and gratitude also has to go to our seniors, and our entire football team, for the character and determination they showed this season. But I also must remind them that the job is not yet finished.”
Croom is the first State coach to be honored as the AP SEC Coach of the Year since Charley Shira in 1970 and the first from State voted in by his peers since Wade Walker in 1957.