The signs were always stationed right under our noses.

We shouldn’t be that surprised Heishma Northern was fired from Prairie View.


Northern was allowed to coach a full season without a hint of an extension on the horizon even though a four-year contract was set to expire.

He mentioned prior to this year’s State Fair Classic that” it may be the last time I get to do this.”

During a weekly meeting with the press on Monday, Northern discussed staying on the coaching grind whether he remained at Prairie View or not.

Northern’s stint as head coach had featured noticeable highs along the way and some disappointing lows.

As a rookie head coach, he led a young group of Panthers to within one win of clinching a spot in the SWAC championship game in 2011.

Known as defensive savant, Northern’s offenses were among the most productive in the FCS.

Then there were all the players who went on to infiltrate NFL rosters. Prairie View and Northern teased the SWAC with potential.

It is why the last two seasons have been remarkably frustrating. If the Panthers had any semblance of a functioning defense to go along with an offense that averaged close to 50 points per game in 2013, they might have won the SWAC West.

Heading into 2014, Prairie View was expected to make a serious run at the division championship. The defense had some injuries.

The offense had to shuffle around some pieces, but with All-SWAC QB Jerry Lovelocke and new defensive coordinator Cliff Yoshida aboard, this was going to be the year.

Then 0-4 happened. Along the way there were injuries to key players, including Lovelocke, who was suddenly sharing snaps due to inconsistent play.

Northern himself spoke about holding his players accountable for failures on and off-the-field. Control had been lost. The season was basically over before it really began.

And with Prairie View only playing a 10-game schedule, it died more swiftly.

The lofty expectations had not been met even with a surge to end the season. The administration wanted to see more from Northern.

The team was operating under sanctions from the NCAA due to low APR. Their practice time was reduced during the season. This happened under Northern’s watch.

The suits were not satisfied. We should have seen this coming.

About The Author

Kendrick Marshall

Editor for HBCU Sports, award-winning journalist, and a graduate of Jackson State University.

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