Alcorn selects Jay Hopson as head football coach
Lorman, MS, United States (AHN Sports) – Jay Hopson became the first white head football coach in the history of Southwestern Athletic Conference when he was hired by historically black Alcorn State University as its 18th football mentor.
“I don’t see white or black; we’re purple and gold. This is home,” said Hopson, who played defensive back at the University of Mississippi and acted as assistant coach at nine different colleges since 1992.
Hopson, 43, replaces Melvin Spears, who was fired in February after leading the Braves to a 2-8 record in his one season with the school.
Alcorn fans, alumni and faculty accorded Hopson a warm welcome by converging on the lawn of university president Christopher Brown’s home before the announcement was made.
Alcorn said he knows the challenge that awaits him when he accepted the job that will pay him $150,000 per annum over the next three years.
“We want to win championships,” Hopson said. “We have to lay that foundation. We want it as quick as we can get it, but sometimes patience is something you have to have.
“We have a mission and we know what our plan is to get the program where we want it to be,” added Hopson, who has had stints as an assistant at Ole Miss, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Michigan, and, most recently, University of Memphis.
Hopson was fired by Memphis during the second week of last season after a 47-3 loss to Arkansas State.
Hopson was considered as one of the four finalists for the coaching job last month but he reportedly withdrew his name a few weeks later.
But Hopson changed his mind and accepted the job because he believes in Brown’s vision for the university.
“I think the Lord leads us where he wants us,” Hopson said. “…the Lord kept pulling me back to Alcorn and Dr. Brown.”