Winfield impressed with Alcorn candidates

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Vicksburg mayor Paul Winfield said Tuesday the search for a new football coach at Alcorn State is coming to a resolution.

Four candidates went through four hours of interviews at the Lorman campus on Monday. Winfield, who is a member of Alcorn State search committee, said the vetting process was a success.

“I was very impressed with the people who came to see us,” Winfield said. “I think we can pretty much say of the results that the search committee has narrowed our choices. A decision will come soon.”

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Alcorn State president Dr. M. Christopher Brown said Friday a new coach will be named after the conclusion of the Braves’ spring game Saturday at Spinks/Casem Stadium.

The candidates interviewed Monday were current director of football operations Todd

McDaniel, Vicksburg native and former Southern Miss and Memphis defensive coordinator Jay Hopson, Northern Colorado offensive coordinator Michael Armour and former Kentucky State head coach Fredrick Farrier.

Each of the candidates rotated through four one-hour sessions, at various meeting rooms across the Lorman campus. One session was with ASU administrators, another with faculty and staff, another with students and a fourth with members of the community.

Hopson, who attended Tuesday’s Ole Miss Rebel Road Trip Bus Tour at the Vicksburg Convention Center, declined comment again about the Alcorn State position. If hired, the former Ole Miss and Warren Central football player would become the first white head coach at one of the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s historically black universities.

Winfield said Hopson was impressive, citing his experience on Jeff Bower’s staff at Southern Miss both as a recruiter and as a defensive coordinator.

Hopson coached on former coach Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Michigan before being hired at Memphis.

One concern expressed by the candidates to Winfield and his committee was the need to improve Alcorn State’s football facilities.

“Alcorn State needs to be committed to provide its students the best facilities they can afford,” Winfield said. “With any one of the candidates coming aboard, there is no doubt the facilities have to be improved. I know Dr. Brown is making a push for improvement of the weight room facility and the practice fields.”