Jackson State University Athletic Director  Vivian Fuller talks about the improvements made over her tenure at the university during a JSU Athletic Department public forum at the Natchez City Council Chambers on South Pearl Street in Natchez on Saturday afternoon. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)
Jackson State University Athletic Director Vivian Fuller talks about the improvements made over her tenure at the university during a JSU Athletic Department public forum at the Natchez City Council Chambers on South Pearl Street in Natchez on Saturday afternoon. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)

Jackson State AD speaks to alumni about program’s goals

Published 12:01am Sunday, July 21, 2013

NATCHEZ — Jackson State University’s athletic director Vivian Fuller believes wholeheartedly in investing in one’s community, and she made sure the Natchez Alumni Chapter understood the importance of that Saturday.
Fuller brought part of her staff to the Jackson State University Alumni Association meeting in the Natchez City Council Chambers, including head football coach Rick Comegy, to announce all of JSU’s recent accomplishments and future endeavors.
Fuller said JSU has become better academically as well as athletically.
“Jackson State had 82 student athletes with a 3.0 GPA or higher this past year,” Fuller said.
Along with academic achievements, Fuller proudly stated that the athletic side of JSU was on the rise as the volleyball team has won back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference championships and baseball won its first conference title in 13 years.
With all of the progress the university has made, Fuller said she is looking ahead at what more can be done to exceed expectations.
One major key Fuller and her staff capitalized on was their plan to build a new 50,000-seat football stadium on JSU campus.
“We are the only school in Mississippi that does not have their stadium on campus,” Fuller said.
In order to move forward with the stadium plans, Fuller and her staff urged the alumni to help.
“We must invest in our community,” Fuller said. “That means buying tickets and merchandise. Season tickets help revenue, scholarships and help with our budget.”
When Comegy spoke to the alumni, he expressed his gratitude to the city as some of his elite players hailed from Natchez.
“Natchez helps us with recruiting,” Comegy said. “We have (and have had) great players like Rico Richardson, who now plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, Joe Perry and Travis Woods.”
Comegy has also signed two locals to play for him in the fall in Natchez High School’s Derrian Johnson and Kris Weatherspoon.
Comegy said his main goal is to recruit more players from Mississippi. In keeping the program in the community, he said he hopes the community gives the same supports back.
The meeting ended with a question and answer session that allowed Fuller and Comegy to get feedback from the alumni.
Questions asked included topics more in depth about stadium planning, the high crime rate on campus and the competition at starting quarterback this fall.
Fuller promised that the stadium will be built one day, but it will take time.