Update: GSU football "strike" over, Interim coach fired - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Update: GSU football "strike" over, Interim coach fired

Posted: Updated: Oct 17, 2013 06:30 PM
Source: GSU Source: GSU

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Update: Our KNOE 8 Sports crew reports GSU Football players are practicing behind closed doors, after meeting with school officials and ending their "strike."

The team is now practicing under the leadership of its second interim coach, Dennis Winston.

Coaches, team members and other GSU officials are not speaking with media crews about how issues with the players were resolved.

Our Aaron Dietrich and Ron Snyder continue to follow this developing story and will have the latest here at KNOE.COM and Thursday night on KNOE 8 News at 10p.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM GSU:

WINSTON NAMED INTERIM HEAD FOOTBALL COACH

GRAMBLING, LA (October 17, 2013)— Grambling State University defensive coach Dennis "Dirt" Winston has been named interim head coach of the G-Men, effective today.

Winston joined the GSU family in 2012 after working at Arkansas-Pine Bluff as the school's defensive line coach since 2010. He immediately implemented a closed practice so he and his coaches could work with the football team after a frustrating two days filled with concerns and emotions.

"We are blessed to have a coach with the type of background and experience like Dirt on staff already and ready to go," said GSU President Frank G. Pogue. "There's no question we're having a difficult season, but I'm certain that Winston will get our young men focused on what they need to do to beat Jackson State University this weekend and to bring some other wins the balance of the season."

"I've known Dirt a long time, and I can't think of a better choice," added Aaron James, the university's athletic director.  "He can tone things down and get the program up and running smoothly while empowering our football players to be successful."

Winston coached at Grambling State from 1992-1994 and from 1995-1997. He was an assistant coach at Arkansas (1997-98), Norfolk State (1994-95) and Arkansas State (1989-91).  Winston was an assistant for the Toledo Rockets (MAC) for four seasons, coaching linebackers from 2001-02 and the defensive line two seasons. Winston left Toledo to join the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League coaching staff in 2005, coaching the defensive line.

During his playing days Winston played linebacker at the University of Arkansas from 1973-76, and was selected to the Razorbacks' All-Century Team in 1994. He was drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round of the NFL draft in 1977.

He played eight seasons with the Steelers (1977-81, 1985-87), including Super Bowl victories in 1978 and 1979. He also played three seasons with the New Orleans Saints from 1982-84.

Interim head coach and running backs coach George Ragsdale has been reassigned in the athletic department. "Rags is an amazing person and we're happy to have him on our team," said Pogue. "We thank him for helping us these last few weeks, and we know he'll help us in other ways."

Previous Report:

GRAMBLING, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A "football strike" on the Grambling State Campus reaches day two and now the interim coach has been fired.

Tonight players are standing their ground and say they're not going back. The team was scheduled to practice at 5:00p Thursday, but for the second day in a row the players boycotted the workout. Also, late Thursday afternoon, Interim Head Coach George Ragsdale was relieved of his duties. Dennis Winston has been appointed as the interim interim head coach.

Wednesday's practice found former Interim Head Coach George Ragsdale and his staff all by themselves. That same scenario did not play out Thursday as the team held a meeting and then exited the building.

The university has yet to issue a statement and has told the media players and coaches are off limits. Grambling State is scheduled to play Jackson State Saturday at 2:00p. However, the status of the match up remains in doubt now as the tigers strike reaches a second day.

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