The second annual Sound Mind Sound Body (SMSB) HBCU College Academy will be held in Detroit from May 12-14 at Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School. This year, SMSB will have twice as many colleges and their football coaches in attendance. The FREE event will feature Mississippi Valley State University head coach Vincent Darby and his staff.
Mississippi Valley State University is one of the youngest HBCUs in the nation, founded in 1950. To prevent Black students from applying to study at the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, the state of Mississippi founded Mississippi Valley State University. Integrated schools were not a thing during this time, especially in Mississippi. The integration of Mississippi colleges would not come until the 1960s, with James Meredith in 1962 at the University of Mississippi and Richard Holmes at Mississippi State University in 1965.
Originally named the Mississippi Vocational College to train teachers for rural and elementary schools and to provide vocational training, the name current name was adopted in 1974 to reflect the expanding mission and program offerings of MVSU.
U.S. News ranked Mississippi Valley State University as the 47th best HBCU in America. Notable alumni of MVSU include Jerry Rice, who many consider the greatest NFL wide receiver of all time, and NFL Hall of Famer Deacon Jones, who is one of the greatest defensive ends of all time.
Mississippi Valley State University football began football in 1953 and currently plays in the SWAC Conference. Head coach Vincent Darby has been with the program for four seasons. Detroit native, Jalen Bell, currently plays defensive tackle at MVSU.