Jack Crowe and John L. Smith meet before this year’s Jacksonville State/Arkansas game (Credit: Mark Wagner)
Jack Crowe has been the head coach at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Ala., since 2000, compiling a record of 81-52 with three Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) championships and three trips to the NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) playoffs. The 65-year-old Crowe was born in Birmingham, Ala., and has deep roots in the SEC. He was the head coach at Arkansas (1990-1992) when the Razorbacks entered the conference with South Carolina in 1992.
Crowe at Arkansas’ first SEC Media Days in 1992
However, Crowe coached only one game for Arkansas as an SEC member, resigning after the Razorbacks dropped their 1992 opener to The Citadel, a I-AA football program. He recorded an overall mark of 9-15 at Arkansas, finishing 8th in the old Southwest Conference (SWC) in 1990 and T-2nd in 1991, losing to Georgia in the Independence Bowl. Arkansas athletic director and former head football coach Frank Broyles was known for feuding with his coaches, and a Crowe and Broyles feud led to Crowe’s resignation.
Joe Kines, Arkansas’ defensive coordinator and another coach with deep ties to the SEC (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia), served out 1992 as Arkansas’ interim head coach, finishing the season at 3-7-1 and 3-4-1 in conference. Kines’ Razorbacks defeated fellow newcomer South Carolina 45-7 in his first game as interim head coach and finished the season by defeating LSU 30-6 in their first meeting since the 1966 Cotton Bowl. Kines stayed on as new head coach Danny Ford’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 1993 and 1994.
Crowe had SEC ties long before Arkansas’ entrance in 1992, serving as Auburn’s offensive coordinator from 1982-1985 under head coach Pat Dye. He then, ironically, served under Danny Ford as Clemson’s offensive coordinator from 1986-1988 before leaving for Arkansas in 1989 to serve as offensive coordinator under Arkansas head coach Ken Hatfield.
And in “As the Coaching World Turns,” Hatfield, who won SWC championships in 1988 and 1989, left his alma mater Arkansas also after alleged feuds with Broyles. Hatfield accepted the head coaching position at Clemson without visiting Clemson’s campus, replacing Ford in 1990.
Got all of that? Hatfield replaced Ford, who eventually took over Hatfield’s former position.
Meanwhile, Crowe took the Jacksonville State head coaching job, an FCS (I-AA) position, in 2000 after a stint as Baylor’s offensive coordinator and that’s where he remains today. Two years ago, Crowe experienced the other side of his 1992 defeat to The Citadel as Jacksonville State opened the 2010 season with a 49-48 overtime victory over Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss. The coaching world truly comes full circle.
Arkansas, with another interim head coach in John L. Smith, defeated Crowe’s Jacksonville State 49-24 to open the 2012 season before losing to Louisiana-Monroe last week.