On Saturday, January 30th, Jay Hopson was named the new head football coach of the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Golden Eagles. Hopson replaces former head coach Todd Monken who accepted a position to become the new offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). Hopson is the first Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) coach to be hired at a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school.
Hopson, 47, a Vicksburg native, is no stranger to USM. He was the defensive backs coach there from 2001-2003 and the defensive coordinator from 2005-2007. He brings a plethora of experience to his new position as he’s had coaching stints at Delta State, Marshall, Ole Miss, and Alcorn State University.
Hopson’s four years at Alcorn were very impressive. He finished his career with the Braves with a 32-17 record, two back to back SWAC championships in 2014 and 2015 and led the Braves to a Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) Sports College Football National Championship in 2014.
Hopson inherits at USM team that went 9-5 in 2015 and went to the Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl where they lost to the Washington Huskies 44-31. His hiring comes at a critical time because National Signing Day is February 3 and this is where the top recruited high school seniors sign a letter of intent to play for a college or university.
Alcorn’s Athletic Director Derek Horne responded immediately to the departure of Hopson by naming assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Fred McNair as the interim head coach of the Braves. Horne stated, “a permanent replacement for the head coaching position will begin immediately.”