Ford went 29-21 in the Ohio Valley over the last three seasons after inheriting a team that won just five games in his first year. He led the Tigers to the CIT in 2016 after a 15-win year-over-year improvement.
The 33-year-old coach has Missouri Valley experience, having previously spent time as an assistant at both Wichita State and Illinois State. He played for the Redbirds – mostly under head coach Porter Moser – and hails from Tamms, IL, just a few miles from the Missouri border.
The Bears have not been to the NCAA Tournament since 1999 and never finished higher in the MVC than a tie for 3rd in seven years under previous head coach Paul Lusk.
For Tennessee State, they will now look to find a head coach that can build off the momentum that Ford created within the program.