"This was a challenging search," said Phillips. "When we looked at candidates to head our football program here at TSU we wanted to make sure that we got the best total package. Coach Webster defines the total package- leadership, experience and passion."
"This is a great opportunity for James and his family," said head coach John Bunting. "One of his career goals was to become a college head coach and I've supported him throughout this process. James did a terrific job as our assistant head coach and special teams coordinator and I know he will be missed by our players and staff. He is a great coach and a great friend. I wish him success at Tennessee State."
"I am very excited about the opportunity to be the head coach at a university that has a great winning tradition," said Webster.
Coach Webster comes to TSU with more than 30 years of football coaching experience. He served the last four seasons on the coaching staff at his alma mater, the University of North Carolina. Webster was the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator at UNC. He had previously coached the team's defensive ends.
Webster began his college football career as a player at North Carolina in 1968. He started at linebacker for three consecutive seasons. Webster was a standout defensive player for the UNC Tar Heels, and was named Most Valuable Defensive Player in the 1971 Gator Bowl. The following year, he received the ACC's Brian Piccolo Award and the Frank Porter Graham Award as one of the top 12 seniors at UNC. He graduated from UNC in 1972, with a bachelor's degree in education.
Webster began his coaching career in 1973 at North Carolina. He worked with the junior varsity program under former head coach Bill Dooley. Webster has also coached linebackers at Dartmouth (1993-95), defensive ends at Wake Forest (1988-93), and defensive backs at Northwestern (1982-84). He also served on the coaching staffs at Florida (1974-75), Kansas (1975-78) and Colorado (1978-81).