Head Coach Donald Hill-Eley
Donald Hill-Eley is in his fourth season at Alabama State University, and was named the Head Football Coach of the program on December 7 following a stint as the Interim Head Coach.
Eley was named to the Interim role on October 6 after an 0-5 start to the season, and guided the Hornets to five wins in their final six games including a victory in the Magic City Classic over Alabama A&M and a pair of wins on opponents’ homecoming weekends. He also guided the Hornets to four road wins to close the season, all in conference play.
He came to Alabama State after a one-year stint as wide receivers coach at Norfolk State, and was responsible tight ends and special teams.
After Eley took over the Hornets, the team finished atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in both scoring defense and total defense. The Hornets allowed 18.0 points per game and allowed opposing teams 303.5 yards per game of total offense. The defense held opponents to just 155.64 yards through the air.
Offensively, Alabama State averaged 14 points per game and scored 20-plus points three times under Eley including a season-high 37 in the Turkey Day Classic against Edward Waters. The Hornets averaged 239.7 yards of total offense, with 142.7 of those coming on the ground under Eley.
During the 2016 season, Alabama State used four quarterbacks who combined to throw for 1,824 yards, while averaging 165.8 per game. Also the quarterbacks tossed 11 touchdown passes. In 2015, Alabama State used three quarterbacks who combined to throw for 2,104 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 60 percent of their passes. Alabama State’s passing game averaged 191.3 yards per game which was sixth in the SWAC. Their 60.1 percent completion percentage was second and its 7.1 yards per completion was fourth.
The long-time Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) coach spent 13 seasons at Morgan State (2001-13). After his first season as offensive coordinator, Eley spent the final 12 as head coach and was named 2002 MEAC Coach of the year. His 59 wins rank third all-time in Bears’ history.
He spent four seasons at Hampton (1997-2000) as offensive coordinator and pro liaison, helping the Pirates win an HBCU National Championship, two MEAC titles, and the 1999 Heritage Bowl.
Eley spent four seasons in professional football in the Canadian Football League, first with the Baltimore Stallions (1994-95) as receivers coach before two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts as a guest coach (1996-97). Hill was on the staff of three straight Grey Cup championship teams (1995-97) during his time in the CFL.
After graduating from Virginia Union, he entered the coaching ranks at his alma mater in 1991 before becoming a graduate assistant at Hampton in 1992, where he received his master’s in counseling in 1995. He is presently completing his Ph.D. at Morgan State. Eley is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and a Prince Hall Mason. He is the father of Ayinde (16) and Jacob (7).
He is married to the former Kelley Butler.