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Southern left-hander Chris Crenshaw delivers a pitch during a game against Jackson State on April 1, 2007, at Lee-Hines Field. Crenshaw, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at SU, was named interim head coach Thursday.

Chris Crenshaw, a former Southern baseball player who served on Kerrick Jackson's staff the past two seasons, will take over as the Jaguars' interim head coach, the school announced Thursday.

The move is effective immediately.

Crenshaw takes over a program left behind by Jackson, who resigned Monday to take a job with Major League Baseball.

"It made sense to hire internally at this juncture, and we are very fortunate to have a high quality candidate on the staff with coach Crenshaw," athletic director Roman Banks said. "With the challenges that our student-athletes have endured during these unprecedented times, we wanted to ensure some continuity in the leadership of the baseball program. ... I believe this is a great opportunity for he and his family and expect him to do well."

Crenshaw, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, who pitched at Southern under coach Roger Cador from 2006-07.

His father, Gregory Crenshaw, and an uncle, Reggie Williams, also played baseball at Southern.

He ultimately graduated from Bethel University and began a career in coaching at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

Crenshaw then spent five seasons as an assistant at Jackson State from 2014-19, working as recruiting coordinator and pitching coach for a program that won 30 or more games each season.

"I know this is a difficult time for our student-athletes as any transition is, but we will come together as a team and continue to compete," Crenshaw said in a statement. "Coach Jackson is a close friend, mentor, great man and an outstanding coach and we wish him and his family the best.

"We have a great group of student-athletes and staff, and we will work hard each day to compete at the highest level."

Crenshaw takes over a program that got off to a rugged start in Jackson's first year, then flourished the following season in 2019. The Jaguars finished 34-24 overall, earning their first Southwestern Athletic Conference title since 2009 and reaching the NCAA Starkville regional (the Jaguars lost to Mississippi State and Miami).

It was Southern's first 30-win season since 2012, and the turnaround from 9-32 was nation's best that year.

Southern was 6-10 last spring before the baseball season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.