The legacy of the first African-American head coach in the SEC, Sylvester Croom, will be featured tonight on ESPNU.
“Croom” will be the latest documentary in the series of SEC “Storied” installments produced by the award-winning ESPN Films. The documentary tells the story of Sylvester Croom and his time before, during, and after his role as head coach at Mississippi State.
In 2004 Croom was named head coach and was charged with the task of trying to build a foundation for a program that was in shambles. Despite having an 8-5 season in 2007, including a win over his Alma-mater Alabama, Croom was fired in 2008.
Croom was one of the first black players at the University of Alabama, where he was an All-American center under legendary head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. In the film he cites his time under Bryant as a key inspiration to him during his challenging career at Mississippi State.
“He was always talking to us about what our lives were gonna be 10, 20 years down the road. If you can discipline yourself to keep fighting in the fourth quarter when you’re behind, then those lessons will carry you 10, 20 years from now… you’ll know how to fight. And he’s right.”
“Croom” is narrated by actor Terrence Howard and is scheduled to premiere Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. ET.