Grambling fired football coach Broderick Fobbs on Monday, less than two weeks before the 48th annual Bayou Classic, ending an eight-year tenure that included two Southwestern Athletic Conference championships but wilted over the past two seasons.
Linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Terrence Graves, a former longtime Southern assistant, will assume duties as interim coach for the Tigers’ season finale in the Caesars Superdome on Nov. 27 against the Jaguars.
“Earlier today, I informed head coach Broderick Fobbs of my decision to make a change in leadership of our football program,” Grambling first-year athletic director Trayvean Scott said in a statement.
“Broderick Fobbs is one of the finest human beings I have had the pleasure to meet in this industry and he has been a tremendous role model and mentor to our young men. We appreciate his many years of service to our university and wish both him and his family nothing but the best. Consistent with our values as an institution, he deserves the utmost respect from the Grambling State University Tiger family throughout this transition.”
Fobbs had a 54-31 overall record and 42-17 mark in conference play. He won a Black college national championship, two SWAC titles and three Western Division crowns. The Tigers also won three straight Bayou Classics from 2015-17, though the 2015 win was later vacated.
But Grambling fell on hard times the past two seasons as its offense began to struggle. The Tigers went 0-4 during the pandemic-hampered spring season and lost to Southern 49-7 at the Bayou Classic, the Jaguars' third straight win in the series.
Fobbs' 2021 team was 3-7 overall and 2-5 in SWAC play after last Saturday’s 31-14 loss to Bethune-Cookman.
Grambling has had a miserable offensive season. In seven conference games, the Tigers are averaging 240.3 yards per game and 3.9 yards per play with 13 touchdowns, all league lows. They managed just 186 yards against Bethune-Cookman, a 2-8 team that has given up 35.5 points per game. John-Paul Pierce, a sophomore quarterback from Brother Martin, did throw two TD passes.
Until the 2021 spring season, Grambling had never finished lower than second place in the Western Division under Fobbs, a GSU alumnus who had come home after a stint on the McNeese State staff.
Fobbs' return began with a bang.
In 2014, his first season, Fobbs went 7-5 overall and 7-2 in conference play, then reeled off three consecutive appearances in the SWAC title game. Grambling lost to Alcorn State, 49-21, in the 2015 game but beat the Braves 27-20 and 40-32 in the next two title games.
In 2016, Grambling defeated North Carolina Central 10-9 in the Celebration Bowl for the school’s last national title. Grambling lost to North Carolina A&T the following year in the same game 21-14.
Fobbs was 3-4 against Southern in the Bayou Classic, including a 49-7 loss in Shreveport last year, the largest margin of victory for Southern in the series since 1939.