Croom Resigns As Mississippi State Head Coach

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JACKSON, Miss. -- Sylvester Croom resigned from Mississippi State on Saturday, five years after becoming the Southeastern Conference's first black head football coach.

Croom announced the decision after meeting with athletic director Greg Byrne. It came less than 24 hours after an embarrassing 45-0 loss to No. 25 Mississippi in the most lopsided Egg Bowl in 37 years.

Croom, who took over the team while it was under NCAA sanctions, won 2007 SEC coach of the year honors after leading the Bulldogs to an 8-5 finish and the Liberty Bowl. He signed a contract extension in the offseason that paid him $1.7 million this year.

But he came under immediate pressure from fans after a season-opening loss to Louisiana Tech of the Western Athletic Conference, and the heat only intensified as the offensively inept Bulldogs stumbled to a 4-8 finish.

The coach was 21-38 overall. He did not immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press.