The John Merritt Classic honors the legendary TSU football coach who led the Tigers from 1963 - 1983. During those 21 seasons, “Big John” won four undisputed national championships among historically black colleges ranked by the Sheridan Poll, compiled a lifetime record of 172-33-1, and built a powerful program that produced NFL stars like Richard Dent (Chicago Bears), “Jefferson Street:” Joe Gilliam (Pittsburgh Steelers), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Claude Humphrey (Philadelphia Eagles) and many others.
The purpose of the Classic is to raise funds for scholarships and other related needs for our students. The Classic also provides an opportunity for community
Tennessee State University is no stranger to hard-hitting competition. Over the years its 14 inter-collegiate sports programs have created a distinguished history in the Ohio Valley Conference and the nation.
The combination of experience and university pride should prove an excellent match-up for the Eighth Annual John Merritt Classic. Kick-off is the grand finale to a weekend packed with activities ranging from concerts and fashion shows to festivals and showcase of the bands!
Game Summary History
ALL-TIME RECORDS IN JMC
ALABAMA A&M (3-2)
ALABAMA STATE (0-2)
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M (0-1)
SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (0-1)