One- Hundred Years of Black College Coaching: The True Pioneers 1890-1990

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The emergence of black college sports during the late 1800s is one of the greatest, yet unheralded, sports stories of the past 100 years. The research documented in this book will correct an omission in sports history by identifying black college coaching pioneers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from 1890 to 1990 who made significant contributions to college sports in American.


“This book by Dr. Joseph Ramsey strives to correct an error in sports history by documenting the achievements and contributions of black coaches at historically black colleges and universities who contributed greatly to the rise of college sports in America.”
-Dr. Leedell W. Neyland,
Retired Professor and University Administrator,
Florida A&M University

“…this factual historical data has been overlooked and ignored for countless years. Major contributors to youth development, higher education, career and civic growth are detailed and illustrated in a proper and professional manner. The areas of history, sociology, History of PE and Sports have failed to address these accomplishments…”
-Professor, E. Newton Jackson, Jr.,
University of North Florida

“This work is significant because it gives us an historical perspective of the African American institutions and coaches that molded not only the players but collegiate sports as well…utilizing both a biographical and chronological approach we gather a fuller understanding of the relationship between African Americans and collegiate sports.”
-Professor Anthony E. Dixon

Table of Contents

The Growth of Education in Black Colleges
The Beginning of Black College Sports
Organizing Conferences
History Omitted
Criteria for the Selection of Coaches
Chapter 1: Tuskegee University
Cleveland L. “Major” Abbott
Chapter 2: Morehouse College
Burwell Towns Harvey
Chapter 3: Tennessee State University
Henry Arthur Kean, Sr.
John A. “Big John” Merritt
Edward Stanley Temple
Chapter 4: Southern University
Arnett W. “Ace” Mumford
Chapter 5: Langston University
Caesar Felton “Zip” Gayles
Chapter 6: Florida A&M University
Alonzo Smith “Jake” Gaither
Edward E. “Rock” Oglesby
Chapter 7: Prairie View A&M University
William J. “Billy” Nicks
Chapter 8: Wiley College
Fred Thomas “Pops” Long
Chapter 9: Morgan State University
Edward P. Hurt
Earl C. “Papa Bear” Banks
Chapter 10: University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Vernon “Skip” McCain
Chapter 11: Texas Southern University
Edward H. Adams
Chapter 12: Jackson State University
Tellis Burthorne Ellis, Jr.
Chapter 13: North Carolina Central University
John B. McLendon, Jr.
LeRoy T. “Po Belly” Walker, Sr.
Chapter 14: Grambling State University
Edward G. Robinson
Chapter 15: Winston-Salem State University
Clarence “Big House” Gaines
Chapter 16: Virginia State University
Harry R. Jefferson
Chapter 17: Fisk University
Herbert B. “Bus” Thompson
Chapter 18: Other Outstanding Coaches at HBCUs
A Special Coach: Bobby Lang, FAMU
Other Great Coaches Hired by 1960

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