McDaniel continuing to direct Alcorn State football

Alcorn State is continuing to rely on assistant football coach Todd McDaniel to provide stability in a troubled offseason.

Head coach Melvin Spears Jr. was placed on administrative leave on Dec. 15 and since then the Braves have been led by McDaniels, their defensive line coach.

Over two months later, the Southwestern Athletic Conference school announced Friday it had fired Spears and added the title of coordinator of football operations to McDaniel, with the expectation that he will continue to lead the program through upcoming spring practices.

Alcorn State president M. Christopher Brown praised McDaniel's handling of the program in the offseason. He added McDaniel will later recommend a timetable for hiring a new head coach.

McDaniel is an Alcorn State alumnus who played defensive end for the football team. He coached for the first time at his alma mater last year after previously coaching on the high school level.

Alcorn State fell to 2-8 (1-8) SWAC in its only season under Spears. Attendance dwindled to create a shortfall in the athletic department budget, standout sophomore quarterback Brandon Bridge left the program amid a rocky relationship with Spears and the first-year head coach had an alleged profanity-filled verbal altercation with a player's father.