ORANGEBURG, SC " SC State University trustees, Thursday, approved a recommendation to name the football field in Oliver C. Dawson Stadium after retired head football coach Willie Jeffries.
The honor is the latest of several this year bestowed upon Jeffries, who spent 19 seasons as Bulldog head coach, In April, the SC State alumnus was named head football coach emeritus at his alma mater; in July, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, and just last week, it was announced that he will be one of 11 inductees into the Black College Hall of Fame in February 2011.
Also, Jeffries is scheduled to be honored this Saturday during pre-game and halftime of the SC State - Howard football game, which kicks off at 1:30 p.m., and in a 5:30 p.m. post-game Willie Jeffries Day program at Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. Tickets for the latter event are $25 at 803-536-8579 and will be available at the door.
During a nineteen-year coaching career at SC State, which included two tenures " 1973-1978 and 1989-2001 " Jeffries achieved unparalleled success, winning more football games than any other coach in school history. He compiled an enviable record of 128-77-4 during his two stints as Bulldog head coach.
The Union County, SC native also owns more MEAC victories than any other coach in the 40-year history of the league. During his remarkable 29-year collegiate head-coaching career " which included five-year stints at both Wichita State and Howard " Jeffries compiled an overall 179-132-6 record, a winning percentage of over sixty percent.
In addition to his sparkling won-loss record at the University, the SC State alumnus guided his teams to six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships, two national titles and eight postseason appearances. He has also reaped a number of coaching and civic honors.