Former Michigan assistant Jay Hopson hired at Alcorn State, becomes SWAC's first white head coach
Former Michigan football assistant coach Jay Hopson has landed a head coaching job, and made some history in the process.
Hopson, who served as linebackers coach under ex-Wolverine coach Rich Rodriguez, was announced as the new head coach at Alcorn State on Tuesday -- marking the first time in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) history that a non-black coach will run a member program.
"I don't see it as black or white," Hopson told reporters at a news conference. "We're purple and gold."
AnnArbor.com file photo
Currently, the SWAC is made up of 10 historically black universities in the South. Hopson replaces former Alcorn State coach Melvin Spears, who went 2-8 last year -- his only season as the program's coach.
Hopson spent two seasons as a linebackers coach for Rodriguez in Ann Arbor (2008-09) before departing to Memphis to take over the Tigers' defensive coordinator position.
During the opening month of last season, though, Hopson resigned from his post at Memphis after reportedly being told he'd have to accept a new position on the coaching staff. Memphis was 0-2 at the time, and had allowed an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision-worst 628 yards per game.
Hopson told reporters Tuesday that his Alcorn State contract will be a three-year pact, paying him $150,000 annually.
"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."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.