On Tuesday, February 2, Alcorn State University made a pivotal transition by naming Fred McNair, 47, the new head football coach of the Braves. The announcement came at the Mississippi Hall of Fall in Jackson, Mississippi by Alcorn’s Athletic Director Derek Horne. McNair’s promotion as coach comes only days after former Alcorn and two time Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) champion coach Jay Hopson made the jump to the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) as its new head football coach.
McNair, who played quarterback for the Braves in the 1986 -1989 seasons, was hired in 2012 as an assistant coach and quarterbacks coach. Under McNair’s tutelage Alcorn went 32-17, won back to back SWAC titles, a Sherdian Broadcasting Network (SBN) Sports College Football National Championship in 2014 and a Celebration Bowl appearance in 2015. McNair’s football acumen has accumulated throughout the years with different coaching positions as the head coach at Collins High School in Collins, Mississippi, the offensive coordinator of Mt. Olive High School in Mt. Olive, Mississippi and a coach at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.
Upon his introduction McNair stated, “My family and myself all played football here and being able to come back and be a leader to this program means a lot to me.” The Braves have had nine wins or more since 2013 and the expectations on the Reservation are high. “I’ve been a part of that pressure to win since I got here, so I know what it’s like,” McNair said. Athletic Director Horne added, “You take a look at the team that’s coming and they’re very mature. You have a coaching staff that is mature because they’ve been together for a while and you have a coach that coaches respect.”
The Braves move ahead in their quest to repeat as back to back to back SWAC champions on February 3 during National Signing Day as they discover who their new incoming talent will be.