Michael Haywood is Texas Southern's new head football coach

- Texas Southern University has reached an agreement in principle on a four-year contract with former Miami of Ohio coach Michael Haywood to become the Tigers next head coach.

“It’s a significant hire for Texas Southern University to be able to get a coach like the caliber of Mike Haywood,” said Dr. Charles McClelland, TSU vice president for intercollegiate athletics, in an interview with FOX 26 Sports.

“With his background and extensive experience we were lucky to get someone of Haywood’s caliber.

“Someone that’s been Coach of the Year, has coached at the highest level, for us to be able to get him at Texas Southern is remarkable for our athletic department.”

Haywood was the coach at Miami of Ohio in 2009 and 2010.

While going 1-11 overall and 1-7 in Mid-American Conference play with the RedHawks in 2009, the following year he was 11-1 overall and 8-1 in conference play, and was named MAC Coach of the Year.

“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Haywood said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. “I give thanks to Charles, to (TSU President) Dr. (John) Rudley for providing me with this opportunity to get back into coaching, but more importantly to coach here in my home city.

“My family is extremely appreciative, as I am as well.”

Haywood is a Houstonian, who went to high school at St. Thomas.

“I think I can bring Texas Southern an opportunity for young student athletes to have an outstanding career academically, athletically and socially,” Haywood said.

“I will put together a staff that will be second to none, not only in the SWAC Conference, but in any conference in college football to provide an opportunity for these men to become champions on and off the field.”

Haywood was hired as the head coach at Pittsburgh on Dec. 16, 2010 , but was fired three weeks later after being charged with domestic battery with a child present.

The charges were eventually dropped after Haywood went through a pre-trial dismissal hearing.

"I apologized for this terrible mistake that I made," Haywood said. "It was wrong what I did. I have learned from this situation. It has gone through the legal situation and I have been cleared.

"I am thankful that I am able to continue my coaching career."

Texas Southern University looked closely at that situation involving their new head coach.

“We did our research and confirmed that the charges were dropped,” McClelland said. “In addition to that we did additional research, and there was nothing out there that prohibited us from moving forward and giving Coach Haywood a second chance.”

While Haywood has been out of football for five years and working in private business, he says that will not affect his ability as a head coach.

“None at all, I really don’t think it affects me at all,” Haywood said. “I’ve spent a significant amount of time consulting other universities and high schools in the area.

“At the same time I’ve done pregame and postgame shows for the University of Notre Dame. So I’ve been heavily involved in football over the last five years.”

Haywood was the offensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish from 2005-2008 and the running backs and special teams coach at Texas (2003-2004) and held a similar position at LSU (1995-2002).

Haywood replaces Darrell Asberry who stepped down on Sunday.

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