Less than 48 hours after a blowout loss to Delta State in the annual Heritage Bell Classic, Mississippi College head football coach John Bland has announced his resignation.
Bland, who was with the Choctaws for 10 seasons, finished with a 26-66 overall record while in Clinton. One of Division II’s biggest proponents of the triple option, Bland’s most successful season came in 2019 when he was named Gulf South Conference Coach of the Year after a 5-5 record and his only win over Delta State.
“I deeply appreciate the opportunity to lead the Choctaws football team,” Bland said, per a release from the school. “I have had the privilege of coaching some exceptional student-athletes who have worked hard to represent this university with excellence both on and off the field. While it is a bittersweet moment to step down, I am excited to explore new challenges and opportunities in my coaching career.”
In 2023, upon the departure of offensive coordinator Tommy Laurendine for the Naval Academy and the arrival of Courtland Hays, Bland and company moved to more of a run-heavy spread offense. The change of pace resulted in a 3-7 record for the Choctaws, one that included multiple blown leads.
Prior to taking the job in Clinton, Bland coached eight seasons at NAIA University of Cumberlands. There, he went 70-21 and won five Mid-South Conference championships. He previously spent time as a quarterbacks coach at Rice University.
According to Mississippi College, the search for a new head coach will begin immediately as “the university is committed to finding a leader who will continue to build upon the successes of the program.”