Jeff Reed: Red Wolves’ Leadership Changing the Game


Jeff Reed Author PageA friend shared the following story last week.

Seems his family is thinking of taking a vacation to some large Florida theme park during the Christmas holidays.

His wife was taking the lead and was picking out dates. She was taking into consideration the possibility of the Arkansas State Red Wolves playing in their third straight bowl game in December.

Her selected date could conflict, but it was the New Orleans Bowl and we all know by now if Louisiana-Lafayette wins seven games they are once again bound for the Crescent City.  (With three Sun Belt Conference titles in the past six seasons, the Red Wolves have yet to play the New Orleans Bowl in New Orleans).

We share that to make you aware of, in case you haven’t noticed, there is a new attitude in Jonesboro and the A-State Nation. If you don’t believe it check out first-year athletic director Terry Mohajir.

Just hired in the fall, Mohajir, an alum and two-year lettermen in football, is close to achieving Rock Star status in Jonesboro. Ever since he was seen on national TV celebrating with Ryan Aplin in the end zone after a touchdown, Mohajir has become a favorite of those who howl.

He helped his cause in January even more when giving this writer and this publication a lengthy interview that hinted at things to come (like the Missouri game) and was just very open about his approach to scheduling. His openness was well received.

Take the past week for example.

On Wednesday, it was announced the Red Wolves would play at the real  USC (as in Southern Cal, and Trojans, and Hollywood, etc.) in 2015 in Los Angeles. The game will bring a record payoff for the Red Wolves, who will receive $1.3 million for the contest.

On Friday, the not-so-secret home-and-home with the Miami Hurricanes was announced. It has been hinted about for a while on an ASU fan website, and even more so when coach Bryan Harsin came to town last month and told a Little Rock civic club “you mean the Miami game” when asked about a future home-and-home with the games.

For those who missed it, the Red Wolves travel to south Florida in 2014 and the Hurricanes repay the visit in 2017.

On top of that, Arkansas State will play at Missouri in September, that is the first game of a home-and-home with the Southeastern Conference Tigers. Mizzou is set to visit Jonesboro in 2015. No doubt, with the Missouri border less than an hour from Jonesboro, it will be the largest crowd in stadium history.

These things don’t usually happen in Jonesboro. But Mohajir has said it best many times, “we are not that sleepy little ole school in Northeast Arkansas anymore.”

Another friend made the comment recently that Arkansas State University system president, Dr. Chuck Welch, Jonesboro chancellor, Dr. Tim Hudson and Mohajir did not think outside of the box because he felt those leaders thought the box did not exist.

If it does, Jonesboro apparently is not inside it.

Jeff Reed is editor of

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