Photo: Courtney Hawkins
By Alex Lagrone
Michigan State Spartan’s head football coach, Mel Tucker, has announced that former Spartan great, Courtney Hawkins, will be joining the offensive staff as the wide receivers coach. Tucker became the Spartans coach after Mark Dantonio resigned in early February.
Hawkins, who played nine seasons in the NFL, comes to Michigan State after serving as the head football coach and athletic director at his alma mater, Beecher High School, since 2006.
“Courtney Hawkins was a phenomenal player here at Michigan State who went on to have a very successful career in the NFL,” said Tucker. “He’s shown tremendous leadership serving as both the athletic director and head football coach at Flint Beecher High School. I’m really excited to get him here on campus.”
A four-year letter winner at MSU (1988-91), under Coach George Perles, Hawkins was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree as wide receiver. He was a member of the 1990 Big Ten Championship team and earned the Governor of Michigan Award in 1991, presented annually since 1931 to the Spartan player who is voted most valuable by his teammates.
Hawkins was selected in the second round (44th overall), of the 1992 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He played for Tampa Bay -1992-1996, before joining the Pittsburg Steelers -1997-2000. During his NFL career, Hawkins caught 366 passes for 4,573 yards and 18 touchdowns.
A native of Flint, Courtney was named the regional Athletic Director of the Year in 2018 by the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators. Hawkins is a member of both the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame and the Greater Flint-African American Sports Hall of Fame.
During his 14 seasons as head coach, Beecher reached the state playoffs 12 times and won three conference championships, three-division, and one regional championship. Under “Hawk” leadership as AD, Beecher also won five Class C boys basketball state championships in the past eight years.
During his high school career, Hawkins earned All-State honors in football, basketball and track. He won two state championships in basketball and four in track. The Beecher and Flint area communities along with the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) will miss the legendary player, coach, mentor and leader.
He and his wife; Candace, have three daughters; Ciya, Comari and Cayla