McNeil joins the Hornets after serving as a coaching intern at the University of Tennessee last season. A former All-SEC and All-American defensive tackle at Auburn and a four-year starter (2000-03), McNeil entered the coaching ranks as a graduate assistant at Auburn for two seasons (2007-08) before coaching at Birmingham Southern for two years (2009-10). McNeil will coach the interior of the D-Line unit.
“He’s a guy that has a lot of experience at the defensive line position,” Barlow said. “He was a dominant player in college, and named ‘Mr. Football’ as a high school senior in the state of Alabama. He’s from Mobile, which also gives us a good opportunity to recruit that area. He’s a very knowledgeable guy, and has the mentality I was looking for in a defensive line coach.”
Hendricks brings more than 30 years of coaching and playing experience to Alabama State. The coaching veteran spent the 2011 season as special teams/defensive line coach at Tulane, after spending the 2008-09 seasons at the University of South Florida. Hendrick was the defensive coordinator at South Carolina State (2007), and before that was the head coach at Benedict College (2003-06).
Hendrick also served college coaching stints at Mississippi State (1995-02), Temple (1993-94), LSU (1989-90), Texas A&M (1987-88), Pittsburgh (1984-85), Southern (1986-87) and Delaware State (1983). He was a three-year letterman at defensive line for the University of Pittsburgh (1979-81). Hendrick will also coach the ASU defensive ends.
“John is a coach who has been around the game a long time,” Barlow said. “He’s very organized and structured. He will give us an opportunity to take it up a notch in the special teams area. Our guys really have a lot of confidence in him. He’s coached in the SEC, Conference USA, and the Big East, so he has a lot of knowledge of the game from a special teams standpoint and also will coach our defensive ends. We look forward to him putting his stamp on our special teams units.”
The Alabama State football team opens fall camp today with practice set for 3 p.m.