MERIDIAN, Miss. -- (WTOK) Former Southern Miss Linebacker Sidney Coleman once made a living on sacking Quarterbacks
Now, he works in the Queen City, patrolling the schools and the streets with the Meridian Police Department's gang unit, and Meridian School District Police.
"He came on in July of 2014." Meridian School District Police Chief Ricardo Clayton said. "He had the personality to go with his size to make people feel comfortable and feel safe. That was one of the great parts of him coming over as an School Resource Officer, being caring and available for the students and the staff."
Coleman played his high school career at Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, There, he caught the attention of Golden Eagles Head Coach, Jim Carmody. He played immediately as a freshman, finishing the season with 57 tackles and two deflected passes. He moved into the starting lineup as a sophomore, and would be a staple in the Southern Mississippi defense for his entire career. In four years, Coleman compiled 438 total tackles, tied for third-most in school history."
"The University of Southern Mississippi's defense was known as 'The Nasty Bunch." Coleman said. "That's how I played when I played football. I was hard-nosed, and I wanted to be a part of that."
After his time in Hattiesburg came to a close, Coleman went onto the professional ranks, spending time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Phoenix Cardinals. He then moved into law enforcement, working with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, before joining up with the Meridian Police Department.
"He actually has over 20 years of law enforcement experience." Clayton said. "So he brought a wealth of experience, a knowledge, as well as a calmness, irregardless of whatever is going on."
On Saturday, Jay Hopson and the Southern Miss football team hosted North Texas under the lights at M.M. Roberts stadium. The night before, Coleman and five other former Golden Eagles were forever enshrined in the University of Southern Mississippi's M-Club Letterwinner’s Association Hall of Fame.
"I know when I was at USM, I thought I did some pretty good things." Coleman said. "I was just happy when I found out that I would be inducted."
"To know that you had an athlete, that was apparently pretty good if he is going into the hall of fame." Clayton said. "And to cross over into the law enforcement arena and be able to give back to the community, and render service to people, I think it's a great thing"