|Kermit Blount’s ‘back in the seat’ with J.C. Smith Golden Bulls|
|Coach signs 1-year extension through 2020 season|
|Published Tuesday, January 14, 2020 8:50 pm|
|PHOTO | CURTIS WILSON|
|Johnson C. Smith head coach (center) agreed to a one-year extension to remain with the Golden Bulls after a 4-6 campaign in 2019. Blount’s five-year record at JCSU is 13-37.|
Kermit Blount has another year to turn Johnson C. Smith football into a winner.
Blount signed a one-year extension to remain the Golden Bulls’ coach through the 2020 campaign, a prove-it proposition after going 4-6 in 2019, matching his win total the previous two years combined. That improvement was enough for JCSU’s administration, namely President Clay Armbrister, a former player at Penn during his college days, to sign off.
“I’m back in the seat and will definitely be here a for another year, and just looking forward to trying to make this thing better,” Blount said. “Every year is crucial, and I think with having Dr. Armbrister there is his love for the game and love for the sport, and I think his support for the future of the sport is there. Certainly, I’m looking forward to kicking off another campaign and making sure that we can continue to uphold what the university wants what our alums want and certainly trying to make the program a better place.”
Blount overhauled the program last year to get back to basics. He fired both coordinators and called his own offensive plays to embrace the run. The results were a record-breaking year for redshirt freshman tailback Emanuel Wilson, who rushed for 1,040 yards and school marks for rushing touchdowns (13), yards in a game (265) and consecutive 100-yard games (four). Blount believes the Golden Bulls, who lost to CIAA powers Virginia Union, Virginia State and Fayetteville State after taking leads into the fourth quarter, can climb above .500 for the first time since 2012 and compete for the Southern Division title.
“I think the mindset of the kids have changed,” he said. “They feel that they can win now, and that was the biggest hurdle …understanding that if we compete, we can compete with anybody on the schedule. I think that fear of playing certain people is over now. I think they’ve gotten past that.”
With 53 freshmen and sophomores on last year’s squad, JCSU had one of the CIAA’s youngest teams, but there are holes to fill with the loss of four seniors who earned all-conference accolades, including first-team punt returner Braxton Gambrell.
“We just want to make sure that we fill some of the necessary gaps in that we’re graduating 11 kids,” Blount said. “We lose [all-CIAA second team offensive tackle] Alvin Brown, so we’ve got to replace him, and on the defensive side, we’re losing a couple of linebackers and a couple of DBs. Our immediate need right now is to make sure that we can replace the people that we’re losing and try to add a few more players to the mix. We want to add some more speed, of course, and we want to add a little bit more size to what we’re doing.”
With another year to work with a maturing team, Blount is excited about the possibilities at JCSU. Although he’s 13-37 over five seasons, Blount’s looking forward to what the sixth season will bring.
“This is a different group of kids on this campus now,” he said, “and it’s a group of kids that’s excited about getting back to work, excited about getting back into the weight room, excited about keeping themselves eligible grade-wise and doing all the little things that makes football a great sport to play.”
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