Alcorn State University made a historic hire Monday by naming Jay Hopson as its next head coach.
Hopson, a defensive coordinator at Memphis, is the school’s first white person at the helm of the storied football program.
“I don’t see black or white, we’re all purple and gold,” Hopson said during his introductory press conference.
It has been nearly three months since Alcorn State let go Melvin Spears who was placed on administrative leave in December before being fired in February. In Spears’ only season in Lorman, the Braves posted an abysmal 2-8 record (1-8 in the SWAC).
Spears was also subject of an investigation after Chris Perkins, the father of a one-time Alcorn player, claimed the coach threatened him and his son following a scholarship appeal hearing. Spears denied the report, however.
Prior to signing with Alcorn, Spears spent three years as head coach at Grambling State, winning a Southwestern Athletic Conference title in 2005 before being fired the following season and later winning a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school.
Hopson was the defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi from 2005-2007 and was an assistant coach at Michigan, Marshall, Florida, LSU, Tulane, Delta State and Ole Miss.
Other finalists for the position were Todd McDaniel, Alcorn State’s defensive line coach and interim head coach since December; Michael Armour, the Northern Colorado offensive coordinator and a former Alcorn State assistant coach; and Fredrick Farrier.