Hopson announced as head coach at Southern Miss

Published 9:55 pm Saturday, January 30, 2016

On Saturday evening, University of Southern Mississippi’s athletic director Bill McGillis sent out a tweet announcing the hiring of Vicksburg native Jay Hopson as the successor to Todd Monken. Monken left the university to serve as the offensive coordinator with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A formal press conference will be held on Monday at Southern Miss. Hopson’s announcement as head coach comes six days after the university announced Monken’s decision.

McGillis also tweeted pictures of himself and Hopson at the Vicksburg Municipal Airport and a document with Hopson’s and McGillis’ signature.

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McGillis’ again tweeted the attributes about Hopson that made him a good fit for the program including his championship winning experience, Southern Miss pedigree and his deep Mississippi roots.

The Hattiesburg American reported this is Hopson’s third time as a member of the Golden Eagles staff, and is the 21st head coach in the school’s history. Hopson served as the defensive backs coach from 2001 – 03, and as the defensive coordinator from 2005 until 2007.

Hopson spent the last four years as the head coach of Alcorn State and coached the Braves to back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 2014 and 2015. After going 4-7 in 2012, Hopson turned the program around to win at least nine games in subsequent seasons. The Braves hadn’t won nine games since their 1974 season.

The Braves lost to North Carolina A&T State University in the inaugural Celebration Bowl on Dec. 19.

After the loss, Hopson’s name was reported by the Monroe News-Star as one of the 35 finalists to apply, and one of five to receive an interview for the opening at University of Louisiana Monroe before Matt Viator filled the position.

Bill Martin, Mississippi State’s media relations coordinator, denied earlier in the week that an offer was extended to Hopson by the university.