Tennessee Tech football is mourning the loss of one of its newest additions to the coaching staff as assistant coach Gerald Howse passed away. He was 28.
Howse, who played college football at Georgia State, was added to the Golden Eagle staff in late January to direct the team's running backs and assist Chris Grimes with the special teams. He started his first spring practice with the team in March before practices were suspended from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Gerald was a first-class young man," said Tech head football coach Dewayne Alexander. "He was highly thought of by so many people. His coaches at Siegel High School – Greg Wyatt and David Watson – always brought him up whenever we had positions come open.
"He displayed a very positive attitude. He was a man of character who lived out faith, family and football. He was so close to his family – his mom, dad and sister – that it was one of the biggest reasons he came here to Tennessee Tech: coach in the area, be back in Middle Tennessee and be close to his family."
Alexander continued, "He was an outstanding coach and a man every coach would want on his staff. Gerald made a huge impact on our players in the short time he was here. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, as well as the Tennessee Tech football family. Anytime you lose a staff member, it affects a lot of people."
Tech Director of Athletics Mark Wilson added, "Our hearts and prayers are with Gerald's family and friends. He was a dynamic, young assistant coach who quickly became a Golden Eagle and embodied all you want as a leader of young men. We will miss him deeply."
Before joining the Tech staff, Howse coached at Northwestern State, teaching a running back group that ran for 2,700 yards and 20 touchdowns over two seasons, breaking 14 school records.
After a successful prep career at Murfreesboro's Siegel High School, Howse played two seasons at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, where he was a first-team all-conference selection, then moved on to the NCAA Division I level with two seasons at Georgia State. After earning his bachelor's degree in sociology from GSU, he earned his master's degree in sports administration.
He was a team captain at both schools. Howse was also active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Oklahoma Baptist, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Northwestern State.
In his high school days, he rushed for 1,072 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior, earning all-region, all-county and all-Midstate honors at Siegel.
As a coach, Howse spent a year at Oklahoma Baptist, coaching the running backs and tight ends from July 2015 to June 2016. He left to take the same position at his JUCO alma mater, Northeast Oklahoma A&M. While there, he coached two All-Americans who went on to NFL careers with Darwin Thompson (Kansas City Chiefs) and Jace Sternberger (Green Bay Packers). Howse was also named the NJCAA Top Assistant Coach in 2017.
Howse is survived by his parents Tracy and Gerald Howse, Sr., as well as his sister, Devenea.