Alcorn State Introduces Jay Hopson as First White Head Football Coach in School, SWAC History
[mpoverlay]Alcorn State University today announced Jay Hopson as the Braves’ new head football coach. Hopson is the first white head coach in the history of Alcorn, and the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
“It was a great process, Jay came out on top of the pool every step of the way,” said Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown. “There was never any question about his ability to coach, or his ability to fit the criteria for the job. The question was if Alcorn was ready to meet the challenge of hiring a different kind of coach, and we absolutely were.”
Hopson was selected after an extensive interview process that attracted attention in local media. He succeeds Melvin Spears, who was dismissed after a 2-8 season and a controversial, alumni-led campaign for his firing. In his remarks, Dr. Brown stressed Hopson’s focus on academic progress rating, an NCAA-mandated system of measuring academic achievement that in the last two years, has claimed the postseason eligibility of Jackson State, Southern and most recently, Texas Southern.
“Coach Hopson’s application included an extensive statement on APR – a critical-marker for post‐season eligibility and student‐athlete graduation rates,” said Dr. Brown. “In effect, Coach Hopson said if your APR’s are low, you have probably down a poor job recruiting. He also included a statement on the importance of knowledge and character. “The character of your team will define the success of your program.”
Hopson comes to Alcorn from the University of Memphis, where he served last year as defensive coordinator. He also had previous coaching stops at Michigan, and Southern Miss as a linebackers coach.
“I’m very excited and thrilled. Its a home to me, and many dear friends of mine are Alcornites,” said Hopson following his introduction.
“I’m looking forward to laying a foundation for the future. We’ll win when we deserve to win. I’ll see what we have on campus and determine what we have on practice field and in the weight room. I’m a little bit blind where we are going in. We’ll get better as the year goes on.”[/mpoverlay]