Alcorn State University created quite a stir last week when the Mississippi HBCU announced its newest head football coach would be Jay Hopson—the first White coach for both the university and the all-Black Southwestern Athletic Conference.
A New York Times Op-Ed discussed the new hire at Alcorn and the new book “Crackback: How College Football Blindsides the Hopes of Black Coaches” by Mark Purdy. The juxtaposition between trying to be hired at PWIs (predominantly white institutions) while also losing work at HBCUs has created a problem for many Black coaches. “In my studies, people say the reason that they have not hired an African-American to lead their Division I program is because there aren’t any qualified African-American coaches,” says Fitzgerald Hill, head coach at San Jose State. “’We couldn’t find one’ — that’s been the story for the last 20 years. Alcorn is saying the same thing. If the majority schools can’t find any and the HBCUs can’t find any, where does the black coach go?”