One of Ridgeland’s newest residents went to work Monday afternoon wearing black shorts and a black windbreaker in the 100-plus degree weather of a Sprinturf football field.

You might think it’s because he didn’t know any better, but Millsaps defensive coordinator Mike DuBose has been in the South for a while.

The former Alabama head coach, 1999 SEC coach of the year and defensive coordinator for the 1992 national championship Crimson Tide probably had to face more heat when he coached at a program that has won 12 national titles.

But it’s the heat that DuBose puts on himself that will help the Majors most.

“I think when you talk to most people that are highly motivated individuals, regardless of their field of professionalism, the greatest amount of pressure is applied by themselves,” he said.

Make no mistake about it, DuBose is taking his assistant job at Division III Millsaps College just as seriously as his two Alabama stints and his NFL job in-between.

“The same things win; the same things lose,” the 52-year-old DuBose said. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re coaching on the high school level, the NFL, Division I or Division III; football is football. The game is just as important at any of those levels for the people involved in the game.”

For the record, DuBose coached high school ball in Alabama from 2002 to 2004.

That, Majors head coach David Saunders says, may be what he likes most about his new defensive coordinator.

“He approaches coaching football the same whether it’s the high school level, college or the professional level,” said Saunders, who is in his third year coaching at Millsaps.

“The first thing we talked about was taking Millsaps to the championship level. We believe this program can compete for championships. He sees that, and that’s a part of his mindset.”

No stranger to championships, DuBose led 2A Luverne High School to an Alabama state title in 2003.

Despite his success there, the offer to coach at Millsaps was an opportunity he found hard to pass up.

“The timing of everything was right for my wife (Polly) and myself,” DuBose said. “We were in the process of retiring from the Alabama retirement system and looking and talking with two or three different people at that time.”

But the phone rang, and Kirk Wood, an attorney friend whose partner had graduated from Millsaps, mentioned the job opening.

Considering DuBose’s credentials, qualifying for the job wouldn’t be a problem, but he needed a reason to return to the college ranks.

“When I started talking with Coach Saunders, I really became excited about it because of his enthusiasm,” he said. “It’s sort of contagious. When you talk to somebody that comes across as very genuine and then has that type of enthusiasm and excitement about something, you want to be a part of it.”

So he signed, and X’s and O’s began to fill the dry-erase board of yet another program.

Last season, the Majors defense ranked second in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, but room for improvement still remains for a team with an offense that ranked second to last in scoring.

Senior linebacker Ross Rutledge has played under three defensive coordinators during his time – none with a resume half as long as that of DuBose.

“It commands respect from everybody, coaches included,” Rutledge said. “Having somebody of that caliber coming in, the other team’s got to look at our defense and not only worry about personnel, but about coaching staff now.”

It’s not just opposing offenses that are thinking about DuBose, though. When he officially joined the staff in April, the amount of influence his name would have on recruiting could only be estimated.

“It’s already impacted the recruiting,” Saunders said. “We’ve had players from as far away as Michigan inquire about us after reading about Mike’s hire. It definitely gives us positive exposure across the country.”

In his attempt to turn Millsaps, which has only made the playoffs once in school history, into a contender, Saunders knows DuBose is a leap in the right direction, especially since the two share the same vision.

“What excited me here about the Millsaps program is what Coach Saunders envisioned of bringing a championship program here,” said DuBose, who added that the players have begun to think the same way.

“I think the foundation is here to win a championship. Do we have enough talent to do that? Yes. Can we do it? It remains to be seen.”

When DuBose isn’t jogging at lunch time or coaching his defense in solid black, he has a little time to enjoy his new home. Having previously spent a significant amount of time in the Jackson area recruiting, he said he was surprised at how much he likes the town of Ridgeland.

And since the Reservoir offers the perfect opportunity for lake activities, something he and his family have come to enjoy, maybe he’ll get a chance to cool down after all.

“We would, but we sold our boat,” DuBose said, laughing as he admitted it. “We need a boat.”