Coach’s Corner: Getting to Know Coach Michael Stroup
By Amanda Lowrance
Originally from Walnut, Miss., Michael Stroup attended high school at Alcorn Central.
Stroup is married to the former Holly Smith of Selmer, Tenn. and the two have two young boys, Jackson and Knox.
In the past this trio has been at almost all the events giving their husband and father support and support for his team.
Cecil and Linda Stroup are his parents. Cecil is the current principal at McNairy Central and has coached for about 20 years in the past.
“I have been around football since I was old enough to crawl,” said Stroup. “When I was a kid, my dad coached and I started out as a ball boy and just being around the guys made me admire them.”
“If there was a ball involved, I played it,” said Stroup. “I played football, baseball, basketball, and ran a little track, but mostly excelled in football.”
He graduated for Alcorn Central in 1998 and from there he went on to Northeast Mississippi to play football. Doubts began to rise quickly on the collegiate level.
“I found out real quick that I wasn’t going to cut the mustard,” said Stoup. “I was offered the opportunity as an assistant and that paid for my education.”
“If I wasn’t going to play, that’s what I was going to do,” said Stroup. “I was at an all-star game where I was in charge of the film room, where I got to meet Coach Steven Campbell at Southwest Community College.”
Coach Campbell picked up a job that summer at Delta State University and gave Stroup the opportunity to join him as his student assistant. He worked his way up to a graduate assistant, which is a paid position and spent four years helping Campbell.
Delta State University won the national championship in 2000, with Stroup’s assistance.
At McNairy Central, Stroup holds the position of assistant baseball coach and assistant football defensive coordinator.
At the Selmer Middle School Stroup teaches a health class. Rivers and Summer are Stroup’s brother and sister and are also in the education field.
Jake Kiser was coached in high school by Stroup and played at Tennessee Tech University, who now is the assistant football linebacker and running back coach at McNairy Central.
Justin Shoate and Josh Carroll, from Adamsville played at Austin Peay, Chad Bumphis and P.J. Jones signed with Mississippi State, quarterback Chris Garrett signed with Louisiana State, Justin Bean signed with Texas State, Anthony Maddox was drafted in the fourth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars and finished up with the Houston Texans last year.
“I try to teach hard work and discipline,” said Stroup. “We want to build a program where the kids continue to come back to this program.”
The greatest reward in coaching according to Stroup is seeing a player comeback. Not only to motivate the younger players, but to not forget where they came from.
“My dad always told me growing up that he didn’t care if I was a ditch-digger or a doctor, but be proud of what I do and do it to the fullest.”