HS Relations Director / Recruiting Coordinator
Billy Gresham begins his first year at Alabama State University as the High School Relations Director and Recruiting Coordinator.
Prior to coming to Alabama State, Gresham served as the head football coach at Carver Senior High School in Montgomery where he helped Carver to a 5-6 regular season record and a 4-2 region mark in 2016. Also, he guided Carver to a third-place finish in the regional and led the team to the first round of the state playoffs. His biggest achievement that season was becoming an assistant coach for the Under Armour All-American Football Game.
In 2013 he helped Carver to an 8-2 regular season record and a 5-2 region mark, along with a sixth consecutive city championship. Carver finished that season at 10-3 overall and a state quarterfinal appearance. Carver played in one national televised game on CSS Sports. Gresham was named the Montgomery Advertiser 5A-6A Coach of the Year.
During the 2012 season, Gresham led Carver to a 9-1 regular season and a 6-1 region mark. Carver finished at 12-2 overall and a state semifinals appearance. Carver played in two national televised games on ESPN and CSS Sports.
Before becoming the head coach, Gresham served as an assistant coach at Carver High School in 2008-2010 where he was the special teams coordinator and defensive coordinator.
Prior to his nine years at Carver, Gresham was an assistant coach at Kendrick High School in Columbus, Ga., where he was the linebackers coach.
Gresham is no stranger to Alabama State University, having played for the Hornets from 2001-2005. While at Alabama State, Gresham was a four-year letter winner at linebacker and started three seasons at the middle linebacker position. He helped lead Alabama State to a SWAC Championship game berth in 2001 and 2003 and was an instrumental player on the 2004 SWAC Championship team. His accolades included All-SWAC performance in 2004 and 2005. A All-SWAC Preseason selection and Defensive Player of the Year honoree in 2005, Gresham earned Sheridan Broadcast Second Team All-American honors in 2005.
Prior to attending Alabama State, Gresham played high school football at Sidney Lanier where he was a three-year letter winner at outside linebacker and safety. He was among the players to lead Lanier to its first semifinals appearance in more than a decade in 1999. He earned Honorable Mention All-Metro as a junior and First Team All-State and All-Metro as a senior.
Gresham is a member of Omega Psi Phi, the Alabama Football Coaches Association, American Football Coaches Association and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Gresham is married wife Nakia and they have four children together – Devin, Jada, Carter and Harper.
Gary Howard begins his first year as a graduate assistant coach at Alabama State University.
Howard, who will be assisting in the defensive line (defensive ends) played for head coach Brian Jenkins for two seasons at Alabama State after transferring to Montgomery from Phoenix Junior College.
Howard played in nine games on the defensive line in 2016.
A native of Houston, Texas, Howard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications (public relations) from Alabama State and has an associate’s degree in general studies.
Director, Strength and Conditioning
Medgar Harrison enters his third season overseeing the strength and conditioning program at ASU.
He came to Alabama State University after working four years in the same capacity at Bethune-Cookman University. Harrison has developed a reputation as one of the brightest mad scientist in his field and has an ever-growing background in strength, speed and agility training.
Harrison is in charge of the daily strength & conditioning regimens for the Hornets’ football program. In addition to football, Harrison works directly with the Hornets’ baseball program, under the direction of head coach Mervyl Melendez. He also oversees the other 16 sports at Alabama State University’s which consist of over 300 student-athletes. The Hornet strength and conditioning staff consist of two full-time staff members.
The Shreveport, La. native has a philosophy of three basic pathways for strength & power development – max effort, dynamic effort and repetition method. Harrison's philosophy is based on the conjugate system's method, which involves the coupling of multiple exercises to ultimately enhance an athlete's strength and power. According to Harrison, it is all about fast twitch muscle fiber recruitment. Sports, winners and all champions are determined by who can apply the most force, move the fastest or cover the most ground in the shortest amounts of time. Train the part to increase the whole.
The max effort is the superior method to strength and power development. The process involves moving a heavy max load as fast as possible. It places great demands on both intramuscular and intermuscular coordination, as well as stimulating the central nervous system.
The dynamic effort involves lifting a sub-max or non-maximal load with the greatest speed possible, ultimately activating fast twitch muscle fibers. This method is not used for the development of maximal strength, but rather for the improved rate of force development and explosive strength.
Finally, the repetition method is the best method for the development of muscle hypertrophy or growth. It is the method in which all supplemental and accessory exercises are trained. Together, these three basic patheays allow the athlete to continuously develop strength and power throughout the year.
While overseeing the strength and conditioning program for all athletic programs at Bethune-Cookman University, Harrison worked directly with the football, baseball and golf programs assisting them to 10 conference championships. Prior to his stint in Daytona Beach, Harrison spent two years at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he served as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the men's swimming & diving team. Harrison assisted the Volunteers to a 12th place national finish at the 2010 NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, while training 13 All-Americans in the process. He also worked directly with the Volunteers' football team, in which he assisted with the training of two first round draft picks in the 2010 draft. Harrison also accompanied the Vols to two consecutive bowl game appearances (2010 Music City Bowl and 2009 Chick-Fil-A Bowl).
A 2005 graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Harrison served as an assistant strength & conditioning coach at his alma mater before heading to Tennessee. At ULL, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. He later earned his Master of Science degree in Human Resources with a concentration in Nutrition in 2007 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
He is a member of the Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA) and National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Harrison is a certified through the NSCA and USA weightlifting.
Harrison and his wife, Mariah Elise, have one son, Maxxim Ethan Wayne.
Player Personnel / Special Asst. to Head Coach
Joycelyn Riley enters her third year as the Player Personnel/Special Assistant to the Head Coach at Alabama State.
Riley joined the Hornets staff after working three years in the same capacity at Bethune-Cookman. She continues in her role from B-CU in assisting Jenkins with his daily schedule and internal administration of the football program.
She received her degree in Elementary Education from B-CU and also has a master’s degree in Transformative Leadership.
Chief of Staff / Director of Football Operations
Desmond Robinson is entering his third season at Alabama State as the Chief of Staff and Director of Football Operations.
Prior to joining the Alabama State, Robinson spent two years at the University of Pittsburgh as running backs coach and Director of Player Personnel.
After coaching the running backs in 2014, Robinson took over a the new role of player personnel director in 2013.
Robinson was a linebacker and defensive end at Pitt from 1974-78, playing under head coaches John Majors and Jackie Sherrill. He was a member of three squads that finished in the nation's Top 20, including the 1976 team that went 12-0 and was unanimously selected as national champions.
His collegiate coaching career began under Sherrill as a part-time assistant with the Panthers in 1981. Pitt went 11-1 that year and achieved a No. 2 ranking in the final coaches' poll following a 24-20 victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
Robinson would ultimately go on to coaching posts at Notre Dame, West Virginia, Syracuse, Tulane, Dartmouth and Connecticut. He also coached on the professional level with NFL Europe.
His standout pupils at running back include West Virginia's Amos Zereoue, a 1,000-yard rusher and the Big East's Rookie of the Year in 1996; Notre Dame's Autry Denson, who became the Irish's all-time leading rusher with 4,318 yards; and Syracuse's Damien Rhodes, one of the Orange's top 10 all-time rushers. Last year under Robinson's watch, Pitt's Ray Graham rushed for a career-high 1,042 yards and was selected first team All-Big East. Graham signed with the Houston Texas this past April.
Robinson and Pitt head coach Paul Chryst previously worked together as assistants under Don Nehlen at West Virginia during the 1989 and '90 seasons. Incidentally, another Pitt assistant coach, Chris Haering, was a standout senior linebacker for the Mountaineers on the '89 squad.
Robinson had two coaching tours at West Virginia (1988-91 and 1995-96). Initially coaching the WVU defensive line, he oversaw the development of All-America Chris Parker and NFL first-round draft pick Renaldo Turnbull (New Orleans Saints).
Between his stints in Morgantown, Robinson was the assistant head coach at Tulane (1992-94) and also worked with the Green Wave's defensive line and linebackers.
From 1997-2001, Robinson was the running backs coach at Notre Dame, serving under another Jackie Sherrill protégée, Bob Davie (now the head coach at New Mexico). In addition to helping Autry Denson become the school's all-time leading ground gainer, Robinson also worked with standout Notre Dame backs Julius Jones, Tony Fisher and Joey Goodspeed - each of whom went on to NFL careers.
Robinson spent 2002 in NFL Europe coaching the defensive line with the Barcelona Dragons, and later was a head coach on the prep level at Westminster School in Connecticut (2003-04). He coached the running backs at Syracuse from 2005-06 and served as the Orange's assistant athletic director for football operations during the 2007-08 seasons.
Robinson earned his bachelor's degree in urban management from Pitt in 1978. He and his wife Pearlena, also a Pitt graduate, have two children, Jason and Ashley.