Alcorn State hires former Southern Miss assistant, Hopson, as he - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Alcorn State hires former Southern Miss assistant, Hopson, as head coach

Alcorn State University officially welcomed Jay Hopson on Monday afternoon as the man who will lead its football program. Hopson takes over the program after most recently serving as the defensive coordinator for the University of Memphis.

Hopson's hire is also a historic one for Alcorn State and the Southwestern Athletic Conference. One school official said Hopson is the first white head coach hired in the history of the SWAC. "This was the best candidate in the pool," said university president Christopher Brown II, "So the question was simply whether or not Alcorn had the strength, the tenacity and the courage to move forward with what we know is the best."

Hopson, a Vicksburg native, felt it was easier to make a decision considering his roots. "This is home to me. I'm from here," he said, "I have many friends that are Alcornites. It's just something that felt comfortable to me. I prayed about it, and as we went through the negotiation process, it became more real that this was the place I needed to be."

Southern Miss fans might remember Hopson as the defensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007. At Alcorn State, he'll be asked to revitalize a program that went 2-8 a year ago under former, and some would call controversial, head coach Melvin Spears.


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