2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Dearing, Clarke, Burton, Butler, Frazier, Jackson (11th), Jordan, Posey, Simmons, Walls, White

Senate Concurrent Resolution 552

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, after five seasons at the helm of the Delta State University "Statesmen" football program, Head Coach Rick Rhoades announced on January 15, 2007, his retirement from the position; and

     WHEREAS, Coach Rhoades' decision comes on the heels of Delta State's 12-3 NCAA semifinal finish this season; and

     WHEREAS, the announcement ends one of the most successful tenures in Delta State football history.  In five seasons, Rhoades guided the Statesmen to a 38-20 (.655) record and an appearance in the 2006 NCAA Division II semifinals; and

     WHEREAS, "Coach Rhoades has had a great run here at Delta State University (DSU), and we respect his decision to step down," said Dr. Brad Teague, Director of Athletics.  "Rhoades has directed this program with great leadership, character and efficiency over the last five years"; and

     WHEREAS, known as an offensive innovator, Coach Rhoades turned the Statesmen into one of the nation's most prolific offenses.  In 58 games, the Statesmen totaled 25,328 yards of total offense or 436.7 yards per game.  In that same time frame, Delta State moved from an option-oriented attack into a quick-strike, aerial offense that tallied 16,074 yards passing.  Individual players have also excelled under Rhoades' tutelage with seven former Statesmen named to various All-American teams, 25 were placed on All-Region squads by various news outlets and 42 players were honored on the All-Gulf South Conference First or Second teams; and

     WHEREAS, after capping one of the most successful seasons in Delta State University football history, the Statesmen (12-3) finished the year ranked No. 3 in the final American Football Coaches Association Top 25 Poll.  The No. 3 final ranking is the second highest in the program's history.  Delta State University finished the 2000 season No. 1 after claiming the NCAA Championship; and

     WHEREAS, the Statesmen's magical run through the playoffs came to a close with a 49-30 loss to eventual champion Grand Valley State University in the semifinals of the playoffs.  DSU had claimed three-straight road wins before the setback, including victories over previously unbeaten North Carolina Central and North Alabama.  The 12 victories are the second most in school history and the most during the Rick Rhoades era at DSU; and

     WHEREAS, "I would like to thank Delta State University, Drs. John Hilpert and Brad Teague, the University community, and the entire Cleveland community for the opportunity to coach here," Coach Rhoades stated, "I also want to thank all the coaches and players who I have had the privilege of working with here at Delta State.  I wish this University and the program nothing but the best in the future"; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the successes of this outstanding coach who has brought honor to his university, his community and to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Delta State University Head Football Coach Rick Rhoades on the occasion of his retirement and extend to him and his family the best wishes of the Legislature on their future endeavors.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Coach Rhoades, forwarded to the President of Delta State University and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.