Hamilton resigns as Alcorn athletic director

Published 1:01 am Friday, May 29, 2009

LORMAN — A little over a year after he was hired as Alcorn State’s athletic director, Darren Hamilton is stepping down.

Hamilton has resigned his position at Alcorn effective June 30 to take the athletic director job at Livingstone College, a Division II university in Salisbury, N.C.

Hamilton said the opportunity to become the athletic director at Livingstone, which is one of the 10 historically black universities that make up the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, was too good to pass up.

Email newsletter signup

“It’s a hard job to turn down,” Hamilton said. “You look at the CIAA and its basketball tournament, which had the third highest attendance of any conference tournament in the country, behind only the ACC and the Big East. (The decision) was a no-brainer if you will.”

Livingstone College has a little over 1,000 students and is supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion church.

Its most famous athletic alumnus is former New England Patriots tight end Ben Coats.

“With the tradition at the school and conference, it made the job very hard to turn down at the end of the day,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton’s resignation marks the end of an eventful year at Alcorn State.

Hamilton replaced coaches in several different sports, including men’s and women’s basketball and football.

Samuel West was fired as ASU’s men’s basketball coach and replaced by Larry Smith and longtime women’s coach Shirley Walker was replaced by Tonya Smith.

The biggest controversy during Hamilton’s tenure at Alcorn involved the Braves football program.

Hamilton terminated the contracts of seven assistant coaches without informing head coach Ernest Jones.

A few weeks later, the assistants were given their jobs back, and a few days after that, Jones was fired as head coach.

The situation was finally resolved when assistant coach Earnest Collins was given the head coaching job, despite the fact that he was one of the assistants originally fired.

Alcorn hired Hamilton as athletic director in April 2008. He previously had been athletic director at Eastern Washington and Chicago State.

Hamilton played receiver at Penn State under Joe Paterno.

He graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications. He got a master’s degree in exercise and sports science in 1988 and a doctorate in black history and sociology of sport in 1991.

Before taking the job at Chicago State, Hamilton he was program coordinator for academic services at Duke University from 2002-05, was assistant athletic director at Bowling Green State University from 2000-02, and also worked at Cheyney State and Penn State.

Hamilton said he will have good memories of Alcorn State and hopes to be remembered as a leader.

“I’m a servant leader,” Hamilton said. “I listen to what my constituents need and want. When you talk about Darren Hamilton, talk about that he’s very loyal, very collaborative and a servant leader.”