Alcorn State has announced the hiring of Tony Pecoraro as its new defensive coordinator under first-year head coach Jay Hopson.

Last season, Pecoraro was the defensive coordinator for Division II North Alabama, where the Lions made a second consecutive NCAA playoff appearance under head coach Terry Bowden.

"This place has a lot of good history," Pecoraro said. "I know it's going to be a challenge, but I think it's going to be a good challenge."

Hopson, who was hired by Alcorn in late May, is the first-ever white head coach in the history of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Hopson's nearly completed football coaching staff begins practice Aug. 1. The Braves open the season exactly one month later against reigning SWAC champion Grambling State on Sept. 1.