Alcorn State graduate named Vikings’ head coach

Published 12:12 am Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS — Leslie Frazier made history on Monday, when he became not only the first Alcorn State graduate to be hired as an NFL head coach, but the first SWAC graduate to do so.

Frazier, who played defensive back at Alcorn State from 1977-1980, was named interim head coach of the Minnesota Vikings after former head coach Brad Childress was fired on Monday following the Vikings’ 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Frazier had been the Vikings’ defensive coordinator for the past four seasons.

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Frazier took All-SWAC honors his junior and senior years at Alcorn State, and later went on to play in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, earning a Super Bowl ring with the team following the 1985 season.

Marino Casem, the legendary former Alcorn State head coach who coached Frazier during his time in Lorman, was elated at hearing of his former player’s promotion to the Vikings head coach.

“It couldn’t have happened to a sharper guy,” Casem said. “This was fully overdue. He is a student of the game and has the demeanor of a winner. He is even tempered, stern and determined in his beliefs. He has a hard work ethic and he will never be outworked or under prepared. He has worked his way through the ranks, is a player’s coach and he will do well.”

While Frazier is Alcorn State’s first NFL head coach, the Braves have sent several players to the NFL through the years, including standouts Roynell Young of the Philadelphia Eagles, Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans and Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers.

Frazier, who led the SWAC in interceptions his junior year at Alcorn State, earned conference first team honors that season.

Frazier helped Casem’s Braves produce an 8-2 record and SWAC championship during that 1979 season.

Frazier is currently in the SWAC Hall Of Fame.