Driven in very large part by one powerful tweet from Kylin Hill, the state of Mississippi votes to change its flag

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Kylin Hill got the ball rolling with a single tweet.  From there, it didn’t stop until history was made.

In the midst of the tumult across the nation, the calls had been growing louder for the state of Mississippi to replace its stars-and-bars-emblazoned flag.  Last Monday, one of the top athletes who plays the most popular sport in the state very loudly joined the chorus.

“Either change the flag or I won’t be representing this State anymore 💯  & I meant that,” Mississippi State football player Kylin Hill said in a tweet. “I’m tired.”

In the immediate aftermath of Hill’s tweet, the NCAA extended its ban on holding sponsored events in the state until the flag is changed.  The SEC also announced that it would no longer hold conference sponsored championships or tournaments in the state.  Conference USA joined the SEC last Monday in taking the same stance.  Late this past week, NCAA coaches from the state, including Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State’ Mike Leach, flocked en masse to the state capitol to lobby for a change.

This evening, a Hill-effected change was confirmed.  From the Associated Press:

Mississippi lawmakers voted Sunday to surrender the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag more than a century after white supremacist legislators adopted the design a generation after the South lost the Civil War.

Spectators in the Capitol cheered and applauded after the votes in the House and Senate.

The new flag cannot include the stars-and-bars but must include the phrase “In God We Trust.” The Republican governor of the state, Tate Reeves, is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.

The reaction from Mississippi State, Ole Miss and the SEC was both swift and unanimous.

And the reaction from Kylin Hill?

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”