Report: GSU fires Ragsdale; Winston promoted in interim

One day after Grambling State football players failed to show up for practice, it was announced Thursday that its interim head coach has been fired.

According to The News-Star of Monroe, La., George Ragsdale was relieved of his head coaching duties and reassigned in the athletic department. Ragsdale was an assistant under Mo Forte at Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the mid-2000s.

First-year defensive coordinator Dennis Winston, who previously was defensive line coach at UAPB, was promoted to interim coach, the newspaper reported.

The News-Star reported the players’ absence from practice on Wednesday, calling it a “ministrike” that began Tuesday evening when the players walked out of a meeting with Grambling State president Frank Pogue, athletic director Aaron James and student government president Jordan Harvey. The meeting, it was reported, was to show support for the team after a 0-7 start (0-4 in the SWAC) and 17-game losing streak that have plagued arguably the most notable program in black college football.

The Tigers went 0-5 under Ragsdale.

The Shreveport Times reported the purpose of the meeting was to address reasons for bus travel to games in Kansas City and Indianapolis and the firing of head coach Doug Williams in September. Williams was in the third year of his second stint as Grambling’s coach when he was dismissed.

“Things are rough, and we understand our players’ frustration,” school spokesman Will Sutton told The News-Star Wednesday night. “The president is frustrated, the A.D. is frustrated, the students are frustrated, the alumni are frustrated, so we fully understand our players’ frustration.”

El Dorado TV station KTVE said the Tigers practiced in the campus’ intramural complex Thursday evening.

UAPB is scheduled to host Grambling on Nov. 9.