video: ESPN profiles ex-Michigan LB coach Jay Hopson, first white head coach at historically black college
Jay Hopson is the only member of Rich Rodriguez’s former staff at Michigan to get a job as a head coach in Division I.
It's not necessarily a job he was expected to get.
Hopson, who is white, is the head coach at Alcorn State University, a historically black college in Mississippi. Hopson, a Mississippi native, is the first white football head coach in Southwestern Athletic Conference history.
Jemele Hill recently profiled Hopson for ESPN's "Outside the Lines". Some find the fact that Hopson is the first and only head football coach at a historically black college or university strange to say the least.
“I haven’t coached many white kids, you know what I’m saying,” Hopson told Hill. “That’s just the reality of what I’ve been doing for 20 years.”
Some have been critical of the hire, saying it diverts from the HBCU historical mission.
Alcorn State University president M. Chistopher Brown II said diverting from the mission is part of why Hopson is the perfect hire.
“Harvard used to be a great mens school for white, Protestant male priests, but now Harvard’s just a great university,” Brown said. “Alcorn used to be a great black school, but now it’s just a great university.”
“If we had not hired him we would have allowed a silent internal black racism, that exists in some sections, to continue to be harbored in individuals,” Brown added.
Some have argued Hopson was hired simply because he is white.
"Some people may look at the track record of where he's been and see how things have turned out there," said Heishma Northern, the head football coach at Prairie View A&M, who is black. "If I had the same record or same statistics that he had, would I have been given an opportunity?”
Alcorn State is 1-3 so far this sseason.