MONTGOMERY, Ala. — As a Southwestern Athletic Conference member, the Alabama State Hornets played their first season in 1901.
The Hornets play their home games at New ASU Stadium. Before the stadium’s opening on Nov. 22, 2012, the Hornets played their home games at the Cramton Bowl, a baseball stadium that opened in 1922 and is equipped with a seating capacity of 25,000. The new mega stadium cost over $62 million and has a seating capacity of 26,500.
Since the Alabama Hornets moved to the new stadium, they have painted the stadium with memorable games in their black and gold shirt. However, they lost their first game at the stadium against the Tuskegee Golden Tigers, which had an attendance of 27,500. The game ended 27-25 in favor of Tuskegee. However, they have since made up for the loss.
They beat Tuskegee 38-31 on Sept. 7, 2019. The games had 27,828 people in attendance.
You can’t talk about the Alabama Hornets without talking about prior head coach Donald Hill-Eley. Hill-Eley joined the team at a time when the Hornets were struggling in the league. He started in 2015 as the coach of the tight ends and special teams. He was named the interim head coach in 2017 after Brain Jenkin was fired for failing to win a single game after five matches.
Hill-Eley was able to win five of the remaining six games of the season and finish 4-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. He was confirmed as head coach in 2018. Before leaving the Hornets in 2021, Hill-Eley had a record of 20-21 in the four seasons spent with the Hornets and 16-13 in the conference.
On Nov. 1, 2021, Hill-Eley was fired as the head coach of the Alabama Hornets.
“There are only two types of coaches,” he said. “The coach that has been hired and the coach that has been fired.”
Travis Pearson is now the interim coach for the club.
Pearson was born on July 25, 1971, in Silas, Alabama, and graduated from Alabama State College. He played for the Tamper Storm in 1994, the Miami Hooters in 1995, the Florida Bobcats from 1996 to 1999 and Los Angeles in 2001.
He began his coaching career as Elmore County High School’s assistant coach from 2000-01 and coached at Central High School in Hayneville from 1996 to 1999 before becoming the head coach at Elmore from 2002-04. In addition, he joined Oxford High School in Oxford where he served as defensive coordinator from 2005-06.
As a college coach, Pearson joined Iowa State’s football team as the director of football operations from 2007-08. Then from 2009-10, he also served as the athletic director and head coach of a high school in Montgomery.
He was the defensive coordinator at Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia, from 2011-12. At the University of South Alabama, Pearson served as the linebacker coach in 2013, then he served as the defensive coordinator from 2014-15.
“Change is life; everything is gonna change,” Coach Pearson said on his appointment as the new interim head coach of the Alabama Hornets earlier this month.
The Hornets are one of the most successful members of the Southwestern Conference, with mind-blowing results in the NCAA/FCS Championships. They won the Southwestern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship in 1935, 1936, 1965, 1966, 1991 and 2004.
They are one of the teams to reckon with in the SWAC/FCS Championship.
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