Jeffries granted 'Emeritus' status

04/03/2010 12:00 AM

04/02/2010 9:19 PM

Former South Carolina State football coach Willie Jeffries, who retired nine years ago, has been named Head Football Coach Emeritus at the school where he won more football games than any other coach.

A recommendation from S.C. State athletics director Charlene Johnson and President George Cooper to elevate Jeffries to "Emeritus" status was approved by the university's Board of Trustees at its Feb. 26 meeting.

The former Bulldog coach will also serve as a liaison between the university, its alumni and other constituents and also help market the university.

""(Coach Jeffries) has used football and his great personal skills to bring about better community relations in Orangeburg, the Palmetto State and beyond, and I think it's very fitting that the university has bestowed this honor upon him," Johnson said.

Jeffries said he is eager to elevate athletics and the university.

"It's a great honor," Jeffries said. "I accept this honor and role with great humility, not just for myself but for all the young men I've coached.

"I'm ready and willing to do all I can to increase support for the school, especially athletics."

During a 19-year coaching career at S.C. State, which included two tenures - 1973-1978 and 1989-2001 - Jeffries compiled a record of 128-77-4.

The Union native and 1960 alumnus owns more MEAC victories than any other coach. During his 29-year collegiate head-coaching career - which included five-year stints at Wichita State and Howard - he compiled a 179-132-6 record.

Jefferies guided his teams to six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championships, two national titles and eight postseason appearances.

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