January 4th in African American History – Willie Jeffries

January 4, 1937 Willie Jeffries, the first African American head football coach at a NCAA Division 1-A college, was born in Union, South Carolina.

Jeffries began his coaching career at his alma mater, South Carolina State University, in 1973. In 1979, he became the head football coach at Division 1-A Wichita State University, a position he held for five seasons.

From 1984 to 1988, he coached at Howard University and in 1989 he returned to South Carolina State, where he coached until 2001. Over his career, Jeffries compiled a record of 179 wins, 132 losses, and 6 draws. He won three Black National Championships and seven Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championships. In 2010, Jeffries was named head football coach emeritus at South Carolina State and the football field was named in his honor. That same year, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

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