Creekside Sports: Mercer hires Mike Jacobs as football head coach

Mercer announced Thursday it has hired Mike Jacobs as its football head coach. Jacobs replaces Drew Cronic, who left the program this month to become the offensive coordinator at Navy.

Jacobs has been the head coach at Lenoir–Rhyne for the past four seasons, and he was the head coach at Notre Dame College for four seasons before that. Jacobs has a 74-17 record in those eight seasons.

“My family and I are humbled to be joining the Mercer University football family,” Jacobs said on the program’s website. “Mercer is an elite institution that has competed at the highest level both on the field and in the classroom. We look forward to immersing ourselves in both the campus community and the city of Macon. Go Bears!”

Jacobs is the third head coach since the program’s relaunch in 2013. Cronic replaced Bobby Lamb in 2020.

At Notre Dame College, Jacob’s teams went 9-2, 8-3, 13-1 and 12-2, while his Lenoir–Rhyne teams went 3-1, 8-3, 8-3 and 13-2

“I want to thank the search committee members for their endless hours of work in identifying the next leader of our football program. It was a joy to work alongside them,” Mercer athletic director Jim Cole said in a release. “Our goal throughout this process was to find not only a leader with a track record of success, but also one who will continue to build on the success that our program has already experienced. Mike Jacobs shares our values and our vision for Mercer football, but also think that he is a leader that young men will want to play for. I am excited to welcome Mike, his wife, Lacey, and their two sons, Luke and Knox, to the Mercer Bears family.”

Jacobs is coming off a 2023 season that ended with a appearance in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs. The season included the program’s first NCAA postseason road win and a No. 4 national ranking.

Jacobs led Notre Dame College to two Mountain East Conference championships. The program reached the semifinals in its first-ever NCAA playoff appearance in 2018 and reached the quarterfinals in 2019.

Jacobs is a three-time conference coach of the year. He played at Ohio State for John Cooper and Jim Tressel from 1997-01 and has been assistant coach at Eastern Michigan, Wilmington (Ohio), Purdue, California (Pa.) and Notre Dame College.