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Cole resigns at Texas Southern; Ramsey interim coach

Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Texas Southern announced Friday that Johnnie Cole is no longer its head football coach and that its 2010 SWAC championship program is facing major NCAA violations.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Ramsey was named interim head coach for the 2011 season. A head coaching search will take place after the season.

The announcement from Dr. Charles McClelland, Texas Southern's athletic director, came two days after Cole reportedly resigned while the team goes through spring practice. The 2010 SWAC coach of the year, who would have headed into his fourth season, led the Tigers to a 9-3 record and their first conference championship in 42 years.

Starting quarterback Arvell Nelson was held out of the championship game for an undisclosed reason following a school investigation.

Texas Southern athletics is facing possible NCAA sanctions regarding academic performance progress during the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 school years.

"We want to thank Coach Cole for his years of service at Texas Southern. However at this time, we have agreed that Coach Cole's separation from the program is best for all parties," McClelland said. "We will utilize the next nine months to thoroughly search for a head football coach; one that will ensure that the needs of our students are met, and engage the alumni, employees and the entire TSU community."

McClelland added, "We anticipate major NCAA violations toward our football program with regards to recruiting, unethical conduct and academic inconsistencies among other things. Please be assured that compliance is at the top of our list as we move forward with building a premiere athletic program. With Coach Ramsey at the helm this football season, this will allow us to have continuity in this process. We want the program to run smoothly and with Ramsey's impressive resume, we can be assured of that."

Texas Southern was 19-16 in three seasons under Cole.

The change at Texas Southern marked the fourth head coaching change in a troubled offseason for the SWAC. Earnest Collins left Alcorn State to become Northern Colorado's head coach, Henry Frazier III made the same move from Prairie View A&M to North Carolina Central and Rod Broadway departed Grambling State for North Carolina A&T.

Ramsey's defense was top-ranked in the FCS last season. He previously served as defensive secondary coach for the Arizona Cardinals.

He also was defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia, coached linebackers at Kansas State, was defensive line coach and secondary coach at Northwestern, and defensive secondary coach at Tennessee and West Virginia.

04/01 17:00:11 ET