June 1st, 2012
07:41 AM ET

First white head football coach hired at historically black college

Jay Hopson was named head football coach at Alcorn State in Mississippi this week. He is the first white head football coach in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which is made up of historically black colleges and universities.

He spoke to CNN's Erin Burnett about the new job.

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Filed under: Race • Sports • Who we are
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. tip

    Straight crazy race shouldnt be a factor. Priod.

    June 6, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    Ok, NOW can we move on from the "racism" in sports non-issue? It was annoying when we started talking about "first black" everything, but this is rediculous. They hired the best coach they could based on merit. SHOCKER!

    June 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Donell Wilson

    Everybody relax.. its only news because he is the first. Theres nothing wrong with the story or the man they selected..

    June 4, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. monii

    why is this news? really who cares..cnn should be ashamed at this article! post a picture of a missing young girl before you do this....great news that he became a coach but to put "white" man is just stupid! color should have nothing to do with who gets a job..maybe he got it by experience and the team wanting whats best..stop making race an issues! no one asks to be black or white or asian..we was all born this way get over it!

    June 4, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. jeff

    And why not? It's high time people started getting jobs based on merit and not the colour of their skin, whatever it may be! I thought that's what anti-discrimination laws were for...call me naive!

    June 4, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You never know. If they win their conference next year, Grambling and the others may be following suit.

      June 4, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. chris

    It should no longer matter what his race is, but what he brings to the table. Just think about the headlines if the story was a black coach at a white college. most would say that's great or something like that. It's silly that this is even a story at the end of the day the all black college is who gave him the position, and with that said it's not a big thing. As a young black soldier all that matters if the job can get done. worry about the bigger problems at hand. God bless the troops-

    June 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • HereWeGoAgain

      We would like to think that race no longer matters, but sadly, given the scenario if it were a black coach hired at an all white school, people would cry affirmative action and assume the coach is not capable of the duty regardless of how many years experience he has.

      June 3, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      I agree with you chris. This isn't a man bites dog issue anymore unless the media wants to make it one and apparently they do.

      June 3, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. spent

    How about just writing: Alcorn State hires Football Coach......

    June 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |

    so if a all balck collage is ok.. why can't there be an all white, chiness, latino, jew, ect collage? maybe they can hire an illegal alien to coach the socer team... ????

    June 3, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathan

      historically black college meaning its where African Americans went because the were not really welcome at other colleges. anyone can go there but the school just has a predominantly black student body. you wouldn't call any other colleges an "all white" college simply because white people make up the majority of the student body. know what your talking about before you say it because you just end up sounding extremely ignorant with an underlined hint of racism. Ignorance breeds racism if you do not like having people accuse you of racist tendency then study history and learn about the subject you wish to address.

      June 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • TRUTH

        Here, here Jonathan. Couldn't have said it better brother.

        June 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I’m afraid you are a bit out of date sir. What you describe hasn’t been the case for close to 30 years. CJMARTIN’s point is a valid one .

      June 4, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. max

    OHHHH MYYYYY GODDDDDD! the genie is out of the bottle and we won't be able to put it back! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!?!

    June 3, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Patrick

    A very good move to bring down the racial barrier even more.

    June 3, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mercyme

    The Equal Opportunity Act is alive and well!

    June 3, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. mikebik

    why is there all-black schools? i never heard of a all white school or an all Asian school ect. ect. why is that? i find this racist against all other races!

    June 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manny

      you ignorant there always been prominently white school ever black people were stolen and broguht tot he shores of the us, try getting a educated in a school about history

      June 3, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

        Speaking of ignorant. Black people weren’t stolen.. they were bought from OTHER black people. Learn your history.

        June 4, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Did you know some black schools give scholarships to poor whites in order to bring diversity to the school?

      June 3, 2012 at 7:04 am | Report abuse |
    • LifeisGood12

      Its historically black not all black. Once upon a time, Blacks were not allowed to attend the same colleges as Whites so Black schools were started. That is why they are called Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Now they are still functioning and accept all races. Yes the majority of students are black but they do not limit who they will or will not accept based on race.

      June 3, 2012 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Moe

      The college is HBCU, Historically Black College or University, not ALL BLACK COLLEGE. Anybody can attend. It's ironic that you don't remember SEGREGATION..............wow..

      June 3, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • lonestarst8

      Try getting an education on constructing sentience. The very first slaves were bought and sold by their own people that is a historical fact.

      June 3, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Miss C

        NEWS FLASH!!! Not all Africans that came to America were enslaved!!!! HOw about that.

        June 3, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • TRUTH

      Why "are" there.... 😉

      June 3, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mercymee

    Wait, why do we need a coach? Isn't everyone a "winner" any way??

    June 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mercymee

    I predict a winning season! Although Al Sharpton should be outraged, where is that POS anyway? Oh yea, a brothel next to Taco Bell.

    June 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    Whoever is going to help them win should get the job. Winning is after all the reason we play sports?

    June 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Racism Sucks

    When you speak in terms of Black/White anything, you're encouraging racism. Its 2012, get with the program. No other western country divides their population this way.

    June 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Black schools offer education from a black perspective. They also lead when it comes to African American studies. It can be a black school and have all races going to it.

      June 3, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  17. jrr

    race shouldnt be an issue in America anymore.

    June 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  18. jrr

    how does your race make you smart??

    June 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  19. DurrrrUidiot

    Because white people are smart and make good coaches.

    June 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  20. TheGreenMan

    Is the Race Industry suggesting it is 'waysiss' that blacks have got a white man to coach them ?

    June 2, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  21. J

    Sylvester Croom also made headlines for being the first black head coach in the SEC. The race card is not being played. It is just a story on a white man who is coaching in a conference with HBCU's. The head coach of Norfolk State University which is an HBCU is white as well.

    June 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  22. hammer

    I have never woke up worrying if my son or daughter had a black or white coach.

    June 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Lost


    June 2, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  24. jon

    Go back and read the headlines at the top of the page. The section is called "In America" so why is everything published only about race?

    June 2, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Bal

      " why is everything published about race "

      Out of the thousands of CNN article I only saw 5 about race and you said every. Just as Rush and Bleck would. Be part of the problem and we may find a solution, perhaps !!!

      June 2, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
      • jon

        I see you can't follow instructions...look at the top of the page again where it says Coming up on CNN
        As President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney court Latino voters, CNN takes an In Depth look at what matters most to this diverse group, and how that will influence elections.
        As President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney court Latino voters, CNN takes an In Depth look at what matters most to this diverse group, and how that will influence elections.

        'Latino vote' impact beyond Texas

        Census: Fewer white babies being born

        Who's a Native American? It's complicated

        Latino soldier: 'Take the warrior mask off'

        'Scandal' updates image of black women

        Like I said all about race

        June 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  25. jon

    Notice you won't see the headline "White college hires black coach" political correctness does not allow white colleges. Why does it tolerate racial dominance by any group? Should all black be viewed the same as all white? Until society gets to that point we won't have racial parity

    June 2, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Bal

      Your statement and the way it is written should prove your point.

      June 2, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  26. Baba

    White supremacy, slavery, & hatred is as American as apple pie . one day this mental illness, will be gone & people of African descent w be accepted as human ,

    June 2, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • hammer

      I don't know which city in America you live in but I would move if theres so much hate there.

      June 2, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  27. Tascodelray

    Maybe they just couldn't find a qualified colored candidate.

    June 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Powertothepeople

      "Colored" ?

      June 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • John Danielson

        You must have missed that editorial a few weeks ago complaining about the term "minority", and asking for "people of color" instead. "Colored people" is as good as they're going to get, so stick to "minority", or better yet, stop talking about race at all, ever. Humans are humans, humans and tigers have a race issue, humans with minimal variations in skin pigmentation do not.

        June 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  28. dud

    They hired a coach they think can win.

    Why always a race card? Race tensions are stirred by the media.

    Let's play ball.

    June 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • mush

      EXACTLY... if it was a predominant white college and a qualified African American coach as well as a white coach were up for the position, I have no doubts a trump card would be pulled! Why can't it be vice versa?

      June 2, 2012 at 5:41 am | Report abuse |
  29. cjb205

    You people are idiots. HISTORICALLY Black Colleges and Universities (Also known as HBCU's) are colleges and universities that were HISTORICALLY Black. Meaning that back in HISTORY they were at one time all Black schools due to other colleges and universities not accepting anyone that was Black at that time in HISTORY. Notice I capitalize HISTORY because it has no precedence (in regards to these schools) today. All of these colleges have white and other students. Yes, in lower representation than Black students, but non-the-less, accept all students of any race, religion and culture. And yes I know this for a fact because I studied Pan-African Studies as minor while in college. And I am a White male. The reason this story is such a big deal is because it is the same as a school that is prominently white hiring a Black coach. The point of the story is to show that over time race has finally started to become less of an issue (however it is still a major issue in our society). Before you comment on something educate yourself a little bit.

    June 1, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SirHipp

      Really? You think this is news because it's the same as a predominately white school hiring a black coach? In that case, no predominately white school has ever hired a black coach, because I've never ever seen that headline. Why would either of those situations be news anyways? It's a shame that CNN thinks this is such a rare or bizarre event that it is worth reporting on.

      June 1, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JuneCleaversBeaver

      So all that "study" into 'Pan-African' studies seems to be helping you.......Too bad you still had to take the cash register course to be able to use it at McDonalds

      June 2, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
    • jon

      There used to be HISTORIC white colleges as well...they were banned by the courts and forced to admit other races, so why are there still all black colleges? Why is that acceptable if the whole idea of integration was to mix the races?

      June 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  30. dawgs863

    why is something like this headline news?

    June 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  31. thenave

    Its not that they wont accept white students, its more that white students dont want to go there

    June 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Scott Hillyer

    I think this is ridiculous. Why should there be black colleges but all white colleges aren't allowed, or all Asian? Its so amazing that this event actually took place, quite frankly, because the American reverse discrimination is a viral and it makes me sick. If people truly want to eliminate all discrimination, they should realize having all black organizations is just as bad, but they don't. Why? Because people still feel guilty about the places and positions of relatives and ancestors in history. The presence of all black schools still imply that they are oppressed, when in fact they have more rights than white citizens. This is outrageous that this actually made news, and that this actually had to happen for white people to be less discriminated against.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texasman

      @Scott Hillyer Obviously you have never been on the campus of a historically black college. There are all races and backgrounds on campus. It is called historically black college because most of them were founded during and era that blacks weren't allowed to attend other universities.

      June 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      It's a historically "black college", meaning it use to be a college for blacks only during segregation, separate but equal Jim Crow law. Now they enroll everyone since its 2012. I find ironic you complain yet you know nothing about American history.

      June 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Sol

    @Clear colored guy, a historically white college is any college that refused to intergrate until forced by the fed government. Historically black colleges were created to give blacks a chance @ higher education, and while mostly black other races are welcome.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  34. dakota2000

    This is REALLY a backward story. People of all ethnicities TEACH at "Historically Black Colleges" So what is the big deal that a white person would coach at one?

    This is a bizarre non-story...

    June 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  35. ClearColoredGuy

    Historically Black College, okay.
    Historically White College, not allowed.

    Either way, there shouldn't be any particular "colored' organized – anything. If blacks want a "black" school, then they re-create their own segregation. Just delete the descriptive word "black" from everything and move on.

    This making the news is just dumb.

    June 1, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • nemesis

      You might want to break out a history book the next time you have a few minutes. The "historically black" colleges were established by the gov't to provide blacks an education they couldn't get anywhere else. I mean in "historically white" colleges that wouldn't allow blacks entry. Blacks did NOT establish these schools so they could have "black" schools.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • raceisamyth

        Psst hey nemesis...stupid....how many times did you say historically. All that youre referencing is history...try referencing present day....most of that garbage is not applicable today.......and hey guess what....im black.

        June 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Someguy

    What is reverse discrimination?

    June 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  37. can't verify...

    But pretty sure the college admits white students, as well as asian and anyone else who wants to attend.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Fedup

    Why to we continue to insist on calling anything "black" or "White". the media is only continuing the ideas of segregation by labeling collages or music or clubs by race!

    June 1, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • IdiotBox

      Agreed. But it's nice to know reverse discrimination is making break throughs as well.

      June 1, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • dakota2000

      Calling people white or black serves no useful purpose. EXCEPT that you are trying to hint of a persons status in an era gone by. OWNMO (Old white news media owners) need to just let the issue go.

      Issues of latino/black/white are irrelevant. The real issue now is the growing disparity between rich and poor which crosses all "race" lines.

      June 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • salt_fly

        Ah, grasshopper now you are becoming wise! The issue of disparity between rich and poor (or class as it is often referred to) is one of behavior. People often end up in one class or another because of personal behavior or lack thereof. Unfortunately, many behaviors which are detrimental are cultural and are taught to children in their communities. If our communities remain segregated, these behaviors are perpetuated and these children have little chance of moving up the socioeconomic ladder.

        June 1, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |