Jay Hopson, 43-year-old recently made history by becoming the first white head football coach of Alcorn State University (ASU) and of the SouthWest Athletic Conference (SWAC). According to Wikipedia, "The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a college athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities in the Southern United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I for all sports; in football, it participates in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), still frequently referred to by its former designation of Division I-AA."
While speaking to reporters, Hopson said, after withdrawing his name from consideration, Alcorn’s President Christopher Brown convinced him to reconsider. “I believe in Dr. Brown’s vision for this university,” Hopson said. He said Brown told him, “I don’t see black or white, we’re all purple and gold.”
During the press conference, President Brown brags that ASU is a step ahead of other (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) HBCUs nationwide. He also cited evidence that shows that ASU has been somewhat immune to institutional ills generally affecting peer universities, including struggles maintaining enrollment and recruiting non-black students. The students' message was "very loud and clear, the campus said that race should not be a factor in who would be the best candidate," Brown said.
Vicksburg mayor Paul Winfield celebrated the University’s decision and Dr. Brown’s vision for a great Alcorn. According to an ASU press release, “Vicksburg supports Dr. Brown, Coach Hopson and the Alcorn family. We believe in the president’s vision and Alcorn’s future. Vicksburg is here to assist Alcorn anyway we can.”
ASU is a historically black university comprehensive land-grant institution in Lorman, Mississippi. It was founded in 1871 by the Reconstruction era legislature to provide higher education for freedmen.
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