He said he was modeling his career after another former college football player, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, when the former Buckeye got a surprising call from Tennessee State last spring.
Although George had no real coaching experience, the university was interested in having him run its program, which competes in Division I FCS.
He was skeptical at first but took the job after receiving encouragement from his wife and consulting with longtime Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.
The Tigers, who claim 11 Black College Football National Championships and have sent more than 100 players to the NFL including Ed “Too Tall” Jones and Richard Dent, went 5-6 in George’s debut season as coach.
“I’m enjoying it,” said George, who described himself as a CEO-type coach. “Every day I wake up is an opportunity to get better, to be a great mentor to these young men and to really develop and influence young lives through the game of football, a game that I know and love.
“It’s been a learning curve. To listen to the plays and all the nomenclature and terms is like picking up Shakespeare for the first time. So it takes a while for your ear to get used to it again, but ultimately my goal is to develop these young men, support our coaches and really enhance the footprint of Tennessee State in a major way. I enjoy doing it. I’ve loved it.”