There’s a familiar ring to some of Melvin Spears’ hires at Alcorn State

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Melvin Spears leading a SWAC offense, with Michael Roach overseeing the defense. They’ve got Bruce Eugene, too.

All three were together for Grambling’s 2001-02 Southwestern Athletic Conference championship runs, and they’ll be together again — this time with Eugene on the sidelines as quarterbacks coach — as Alcorn State takes the field in 2011.

Spears served for one more season as offensive coordinator in 2003 at Grambling before taking over as head coach. Eugene, Spears’ record-smashing passer, helped the 2005 Grambling team to another championship and then served as a graduate-student quarterback coach under Spears in 2006. Roach, meanwhile, left early in Grambling’s 2003 campaign to return to Southern Lab, the Baton Rouge, La., high school where he had coached in the 1990s.

They’ll form the staff nucleus of Spears’ rebuilding project at Alcorn, his alma mater. The group was supposed to also include Vyron Brown, a former running back and assistant with the Tigers when Spears and Co. were there, but Brown bolted to Grambling just days after being hired. Spears says he will take over Brown’s offensive coordinator duties.

Spears then added Louis Green — a standout linebacker for ex-Alcorn coach Johnny Thomas from 1998-2002 — as the linebacker and special teams coach. After a stint in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos, Green most recently coached linebackers and special teams at Jefferson County High School in Fayette, Miss.

He’ll assist in a quest to mirror the success Roach had at Grambling, beginning with his standout 2000 squad, which finished ranked No. 18 in all of the FCS and had 45 quarterback tackles on the way to the first of three consecutive SWAC titles under head coach Doug Williams.

Eugene, a three-time finalist for the Walter Payton Award for the FCS’ top national offensive performer, finished his college career with 13,530 passing yards, 140 passing touchdowns and three SWAC championships — one as part-time performer in 2001, then two as a starter in 2002 and in ’05. Eugene later had stints with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, as well as the Canadian Football League, NFL Europe and the Arena Football League before returning to coaching. He has served as quarterbacks coach in New York City’s Public School Athletic League, offensive coordinator at Brooklyn Tech High and Erasmus Hall High and as co-head coach at Franklin K. Lane High.


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